Saudi Aramco takes another step toward 1st public offering – Boston Herald

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Aramco released a lengthy document this weekend that lays the ground for investors to buy into the world’s most profitable company, but it remains unknown how much is on offer.

In its preliminary prospectus released lat Saturday, Aramco revealed that it will sell up to 0.5% of its shares to individual retail investors. It did not indicate how much will be made available to institutional investors.

Still, the highly anticipated sale of even less than 2% of the company has been generating global buzz because even a sliver would make this the world’s biggest initial public offering.

Saudi Aramco is the kingdom’s oil and gas producer, pumping more than 10 million barrels of crude oil a day, or some 10% of global demand.

Despite questions over Aramco’s valuation and how much of the company will ultimately be for sale on Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul stock exchange, the company’s size and profitability has made it undeniably attractive to potential investors.

The oil and gas company netted profits of $111 billion last year, more than Apple, Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil combined.

Trading on Saudi Arabia’s domestic exchange could begin as soon as Dec. 11, according to state-linked media.

In the roughly 650-page prospectus, Aramco said the offering period for investors will begin Nov. 17. It will close for individual investors on Nov. 28 and for institutional investors on Dec. 4. Aramco will price its shares on Dec. 5, according to the document.

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