Saudi Aramco shares rallied 10 per cent as the state oil company began trading on Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange, giving the group a market value of nearly $1.9tn.
Wednesday’s stock market debut marks the culmination of a nearly four year process since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman first disclosed plans for a listing.
After a process marked by delays and pared ambitions, Saudi Aramco raised $25.6bn in the largest ever IPO surpassing the $25b raised by China’s Alibaba when it debuted on Wall Street in 2014 and giving it a valuation of $1.7tn.
Saudi Aramco’s shares rose by the maximum level of 10 per cent in early dealings to 35.2 riyal, confirming its position as the world’s most valuable company with a market capitalisation of nearly $1.9tn. That is more than the combined market capitalisation of the five biggest international oil companies.
Riyadh has sought to ensure the shares trade higher after Saudi Aramco’s debut as officials push to secure a $2tn valuation long-sought after by Prince Mohammed, the kingdom’s heir apparent.
Saudi institutions and wealthy families have been asked to buy shares following the start of trading.