Business

Saudi Aramco offers to sell 0.5% of shares to retail investors

DUBAI Saudi state oil giant Saudi Aramco will sell 0.5 per cent of its shares to individual retail investors and the government will have a lockup period of a year on further share sales after the initial public offering, its prospectus said on Saturday.

The more than 600-page prospectus did not include details of how much of the company would be floated in total or of any commitments from anchor investors.

Sources have said the company could sell 1 per cent to 2 per cent on the Saudi stock market in what could be the world's largest listing. Offering for the shares will begin on Nov 17, the prospectus said.

Aramco fired the starting gun on the initial public offering on Nov 3 after a series of false starts. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is seeking to raise billions of dollars to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil by investing in non-energy industries.

Risks highlighted in the prospectus include the potential for terrorist attacks and for encountering antitrust legislation, as well as the right of the Saudi government to decide maximum crude output and direct Aramco to undertake projects outside its core business.

The prospectus said the government will have a "statutory lockup period" for disposing of any shares after the listing for six months, and a contractual lockup period for 12 months.

Aramco cannot list additional shares for a period of six months after trading starts, and will also be restricted from issuing additional shares for 12 months.

The offering for institutional investors will begin on Nov 17 and end on Dec 4. Retail investors will be able to bid for the shares from Nov 17 to 28, the prospectus said. - REUTERS

BUSINESS & FINANCE