Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Aramco on Thursday set a share price for its IPO — expected to be the biggest ever — that puts the value of the company at $1.7 trillion, more than Apple or Microsoft.
The company said it will sell its shares at 32 riyals ($8.53) each, putting the overall value of the stake being sold at $25.6 billion. That surpasses IPO record holder Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the Chinese conglomerate and e-commerce company that raised about $25 billion in 2014.
Aramco, which pumps and produces Saudi Arabia’s crude oil to the world, is floating a 1.5% stake in the company, or 3 billion shares. Trading is expected to happen on the Saudi Tadawul stock exchange by mid-December.
The company is selling a 0.5% stake to individual investors, who are Saudi citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia, and 1% to institutional investors, which can be sovereign wealth funds, asset managers and government-run pension programs.
The IPO price is at the top of the range that Aramco had sought. It had been looking for between 30 to 32 riyals each, or $8 to $8.53 a share.
Aramco said Thursday the offering drew heavy demand and that it would retain the option of an even bigger offering of a 3.45 billion share sale, representing $29.4 billion.
Its financial advisers had said earlier that most orders were coming from Saudi funds or companies, with foreign investors— including from neighboring Gulf Arab states— accounting for only 10.5% of the bids. It was not immediately known what the final breakdown was.
Stocks end wobbly day with slight gains ahead of jobs report
Wall Street capped a wobbly day of trading Thursday with slight gains for the major stock indexes as technology companies and banks outweighed declines elsewhere in the market.
The muted trading came as investors looked ahead to a key government report on jobs and kept an eye on developments in the negotiations to end the trade war between the U.S. and China.
The S&P 500 index rose 4.67 points, or 0.2%, to 3,117.43. Even with the latest gain, the benchmark index is on track for a weekly loss, though it’s still up 24.4% for the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 28.01 points, or 0.1%, to 27,677.79.
The Nasdaq added 4.03 points, less than 0.1%, to 8,570.70. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 0.94 points, also less than 0.1%, to 1,614.83.
Payroll processor ADP reported Wednesday that private employers added far fewer jobs in November than economists expected. Job growth has been a strong part of the economy and the report raises doubts ahead of the Labor Department’s more comprehensive update.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.80% from 1.78% late Wednesday.
Energy stocks were the biggest losers. Cimarex Energy slid 1.8%.
Makers and sellers of household goods fell. Molson Coors Brewing dropped 1.5% and supermarket operator Kroger fell %.
Retailers also declined. L Brands fell 3.4%.
United Airlines slipped 0.4% after it said CEO Oscar Munoz is stepping down from his post and will become executive chairman. The airline said that President J. Scott Kirby will be its new CEO.
Munoz led the company through a choppy period, and in 2017 gave up his bonus after the forcible removal of a ticketed passenger led to widespread criticism.
Benchmark crude oil was unchanged at $58.43 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, rose 39 cents to close at $63.39 a barrel.
Compiled from news service reports.