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Saudi Arabia's government invested over US$2b in Aramco IPO
[RIYADH] Saudi government institutions invested almost US$2.3 billion into the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, a transaction that was intended to find new sources of funding for the kingdom's economic diversification plan.
The government sold two thirds of the shares offered in the company to institutional investors, of which 13.2 per cent came from Saudi government institutions, according to a statement from Samba Capital, one of the lead managers on the deal. Non-Saudi investors were allocated 23.1 per cent of the institutional offering, or about US$3.9 billion.
Aramco's offering, the world's biggest share sale, is a key part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's plan to wean the Saudi economy off a reliance on oil. It was originally envisaged as a way to tap global equity investors and use the proceeds to fuel the sovereign wealth fund's investment programme. After international investors balked at Aramco's valuation expectations, the kingdom instead focused on raising money domestically.
The PIF, as the sovereign wealth fund is known, expects to spend "a lot" of the proceeds from the Aramco offering in the domestic economy as it shifts focus toward high-impact local investments, Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan said in a Bloomberg TV interview on Tuesday.
Saudi companies were the biggest investors in the offering, buying 37.5 per cent of the shares offered to institutions. Public and private funds bought 26.3 per cent of the institutional tranche.