Saudi Aramco claims foreigners take ' majority' of share offering

On the picture: Saudi Aramco`s Tanajib facility, Saudi Arabia. Tanajib is an oil complex located on the coast of the Arabian Gulf, some 200 km north of Dammam /EPA

Saudi Aramco announced Sunday that overseas investors have bought the majority of the shares offered in its current sale, which was expected to raise $11.2 billion.

"The majority of the shares constituting the institutional tranche of the Offering was allocated to investors located outside of the Kingdom," the business said in a statement before shares reopened for trading on the Saudi market on Sunday.

According to sources close to the situation, around 58% of shares were allotted to overseas investors, up from about 23% for the company's first public offering in 2019, which was the largest float in history.

According to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private information, over 70% of orders outside of the local market originated from the European Union and the United States, with the remainder coming from Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia.

Aramco, the Saudi economy's largely state-owned jewel, said on May 30 that it will sell 1.545 billion shares, or around 0.64 per cent of its outstanding shares, on the Saudi stock market.

The secondary offering was intended to give a short-term boost to Saudi Arabia's finances as the Gulf state undertakes large-scale projects such as resorts and stadiums as part of ambitious economic reform efforts.

It was also largely seen as a test of foreign investor interest more than halfway through an economic reform push known as Vision 2030, the goals of which are mirrored in so-called giga-projects like NEOM, a projected futuristic megacity in the desert.

Saudi Arabia is the world's biggest crude oil exporter, and the government's stake in Aramco is around 81.5% after the second share sale.

Aramco said on Friday that the offering will be priced at 27.25 Saudi riyals ($7.27) a share, which is the low end of the 26.70 to 29 Saudi riyals range disclosed in late May.

Aramco closed trading on Thursday, the final day the market was open, at 28.30 Saudi riyals per share, giving it a market value of around $1.83 trillion. |BGNES