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IPO


#315
2 Trillion Questions

Published:

Dec 14, 2019


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Posted In:

IPO

Published:

Dec 14, 2019


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The Saudi Aramco IPO is unprecedented. For the first time in history, a company is trading at a market cap above $2 trillion, two days after raising a record $26b in its IPO! Banks who worked on the deal received fees equal to 0.25% of the proceeds, worth $64m – an impressive haul, but a far cry from the $300m in fees banks received for the Alibaba IPO (which raised $25b).

The stock is trading on Saudi’s domestic exchange, Tadawul, and is responsible for 85% of the exchange’s daily trade volume despite selling only 2% of the company's shares.

An IPO is the first time private companies receive market-based price discovery – but with political entanglement in the offering and insiders' overt desire for a $2 trillion market cap, a number of questions remain for international investors.

Some question whether the decision to float on a domestic exchange was an attempt to control the narrative with local investors, and control the valuation. Furthermore, the decision to issue a relatively small number of shares may have been intended to suffocate supply of the security, again to drive up the price.

In addition to valuation questions, many international investors remain skeptical on the company's governance.

The jury is still out on how Aramco's stock will perform – and price discovery can accrue over time. For now, it remains the only public company valued at $2 trillion, and a key development in the country's plan to diversify it's economy.

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2 Trillion Questions


Saudi Aramco is the world's first $2 trillion company. But is it overvalued? - The IPO was historic in many ways, but international investors retain skepticism around floating the stock on a local exchange. Read more

Aramco goes public on Saudi's domestic exchange - On its second day of trading, Saudi Aramco represented over 85% of the traded value on Tadawul, Saudi's domestic exchange. The exchange only recently allowed foreigners to invest in the country. Read more

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