Saudi Aramco oil firm starts trading after record £19.5bn IPO

Saudi Arabia’s oil company Aramco has started trading on the Saudi Tadawul stock exchange for the first time after a 25.6 billion dollar (£19.5 billion) initial public offering that set the record as the biggest in history.

The state-owned company had announced a sale of 1.5% of its shares at 32 Saudi riyals a share (£6.50).

At that price, Aramco is the world’s most valuable company at 1.7 trillion dollars.

That is more than the top five oil companies – Exxon Mobil, Total, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and BP – combined.

Storage tanks at an Aramco oil facility in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia
Storage tanks at an Aramco oil facility in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia (Amr Nabil/AP)

Trading for Aramco shares began at 10.30am local time in Riyadh (7.30am GMT) on the Tadawul exchange in Riyadh.

Aramco is selling 0.5% of its shares to individual investors – most of whom are Saudi nationals – and 1% to institutional investors, most of which are Saudi or based in the Gulf.

The company has exclusive rights to produce and sell the kingdom’s energy reserves.

It was founded in 1933 with America’s Standard Oil, and became fully owned by Saudi Arabia by 1980.

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