Saudi Aramco Stock Offering to Launch November 17

Saudi Aramco's facility in Saudi Arabia

Saudi state oil giant Aramco has revealed the date and the size of its long-anticipated initial public offering (IPO), which may become the largest in history.

The prospectus said the offering period will start on Sunday, November 17, ending on November 28 for individual investors and on December 4 for institutional investors.

In the prospectus, Aramco indicated that it would determine the IPO pricing and the percentage of the company to be sold in the offering at the end of the book-building period.

The company said it will determine the percentage to be sold t o institutional investors after consultations with its financial advisors and global coordinators consisting of major worldwide banks.

Among the risks highlighted in the prospectus were the potential for terrorist attacks and the potential for encountering antitrust legislation, as well as the right of the Saudi government to decide maximum crude output and direct Aramco to undertake projects outside its core business.

Japanese investors will probably steer clear of Aramco's IPO despite the fact that Saudi Arabia holds a significant share of Japan's crude oil imports. Saudi Aramco is the most profitable company globally, producing more than 10 million barrels of crude oil a day, or some 10% of global demand.

But China, the world's top oil importer, may commit as much as $10 billion through sovereign wealth funds and other state-owned enterprises, Bloomberg News reported.

Aramco may also change its dividend policy without prior notice to its minority shareholders, it said.

Aramco has been in talks with Gulf and Asian sovereign wealth funds and wealthy Saudi individuals to secure top investors of the IPO, but no anchor investor is yet to formally agree to a deal.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said the company is worth some $2 trillion, but analysts estimate the value is closer to $1.5 trillion.

Although, a Saudi Aramco official told earlier last week that the Middle-east oil giant, the world's most profitable company according to an unaudited claim of the company executives, would be looking to a valuation of 1.5 trillion, sources had unveiled on condition of anonymity on Friday (November 8th) that Aramco might raise a figure between $20 billion to $40 billion, while a valuation above $25 billion would break 2014's record NYSE-listing of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings.

Profit in the first half of this year was measured at $46.9 billion (€42.5 billion), exceeding that of the world's most profitable listed company, U.S. tech giant Apple Inc., which made $31.5 billion (€28.6 billion).



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