Aramco Exercises Greenshoe Option
Saudi Aramco completed its initial public offering on Saudia Arabia’s Tadawul stock exchange in December at a valuation matching Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s vision of $2 trillion, thereby taking in $25.6 billion. A month later, the company has exercisedits greenshoe overallotment option and issued additional shares, raising the size of the flotation to a record $29.4 billion.
The state-owned oil giant, Saudi Arabia’s largest and estimated to be the world’s most profitable company, said it has now sold an additional 450 million shares above the 3 billion it sold last month.
Investors were allocated the additional shares for the option during the book-building process, Aramco said, and these will not be traded on the Tadawul.
Even with the billions of fresh riyals or dollars in its coffers, the company’s share is already in rough terrain, due to geopolitical tensions arising after a drone strike ordered by US President Donald Trump killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3.
According to stock market reports quoted by international news media, Aramco’s share price fell to 34 riyals ($8.53) on Jan. 8, its lowest since the stock began trading on Dec. 11. It closed at 35 riyals a day later, valuing the company at $1.87 trillion.
Analysts who were long skeptical that the original flotation would reach the crown prince’s $2 trillion valuation target are now focusing on what will happen when the holding period for the shares instituted by the Saudi government for retail investors expires, six months after the listing.