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Saudi Arabia takes orders for new Aramco share sale

Saudi Arabia takes orders for new Aramco share sale
2 min read
Saudi Arabia adds four banks for Aramco's $13B share offering. Investors can order through Thursday, with trading starting next Sunday on the Riyadh Exchange,
Saudi Arabia added four more banks for its secondary share offering of oil giant Aramco [GETTY]

Saudi Arabia added four more banks to its secondary share offering of oil giant Aramco. The advisers began taking orders on Sunday for the sale, which could eventually raise up to $13.1 billion, 4 1/2 years after its record initial public offering.

The Saudi government may sell up to a 0.7 percent stake in the world's top oil exporter. The deal's banks will take orders through Thursday, and the price will be the following day. The shares will start trading on Riyadh's Saudi Exchange next Sunday.

The investment banks added to the deal since it was announced on Thursday are Credit Suisse Saudi Arabia, part of UBS Group, as a domestic book-runner alongside BNP Paribas, Bank of China International and China International Capital Corporation as foreign book-runners, according to a stock exchange filing.

Saudi National Bank's investment banking arm, the lead manager and global coordinator alongside Citi, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley, was already on the deal. Al Rajhi Capital, Riyad Capital, and Saudi Fransi are domestic joint bookrunners.

M. Klein and Company and Moelis are independent financial advisers for the deal.

The deal starts as the OPEC+ group of oil producers is set to meet on Sunday to determine output policy, with some ministers meeting in Riyadh, according to OPEC+ sources.

The de facto Saudi-led Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, together known as OPEC+, are currently cutting output by a total of 5.86 million barrels per day (mbpd), equal to about 5.7 percent of global demand.

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The curbs include a voluntary cut of one mbpd by Saudi Arabia. While the moves by OPEC+ have helped support crude prices this year, Brent settled below $82 a barrel on Friday, down nearly $10 from a six-month high in April.

Aramco has boosted its dividends, introducing a new performance-linked payout mechanism last year, despite lower profits due to lower volumes.

Saudi Arabia will first offer investors 0.64 percent of Aramco, or about 1.545 billion shares, at 26.7-29 riyals ($7.12-$7.73), translating to just under $12 billion at the top end of the range. A so-called greenshoe option could then be exercised for roughly 1.7 billion shares, or 0.7 percent of Aramco, to raise over $1 billion more.

Aramco exercised a greenshoe option after its IPO in late 2019, which remains the world's biggest.

About 10 percent of the new offering, excluding the greenshoe option, will be reserved for retail investors, subject to demand. ($1 = 3.7508 riyals)