Saudi Arabia's state oil company Aramco raised $25.6 billion in its initial stock offering on Thursday. The amount raised has broken the record of Chinese online giant Alibaba's $25 billion-debut on the Wall Street in 2014.
The market launch has spiked Saudi Aramco's value at $1.7 trillion. It is now way ahead of the other contenders in the trillion-dollar club - Apple at $1.2 trillion and both Microsoft and Alibaba at $1.1 trillion. However, it fell short of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's target of $2 trillion.
Sources told news agency AFP that Saudi Aramco will begin trading three billion shares on the country's Tadawul stock exchange on December 12 at a starting price of 32 riyals or $8.53.
The new private shareholders are mostly Saudis, the report mentions.
Last week, the company announced that retail subscriptions, ending November 28, had reached about 11.5 billion euros, with nearly five million subscribers and nearly 1.5 billion shares sold -- exceeding their target of one billion.
The government used a series of initiatives to encourage Saudis to buy a stake in the kingdom's crown jewel, including offers of bank loans and nationalist rhetoric portraying the investment a patriotic duty.
Aramco has also provided local investors with promises of higher dividends and the opportunity to obtain additional free shares if they hold their shares for some time.
It pledged to pay $75 billion in dividends in 2020.
Some of the wealthiest families in Saudi Arabia have been obliged to invest, including billionaire prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, who was among the businessmen locked up in Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton Hotel during an "anti-corruption" crackdown in 2017.
Aramco put off but has not abandoned its plan to raise additional funds by selling shares on a major international market like New York, but that will depend on the reception it will have on the local stock exchange.
Prince Mohammed has viewed the stock offering as a critical component of "Vision 2030," a program to diversify the Saudi economy and shift Aramco from "an oil producing company into a global industrial conglomerate," according to the Saudi government website.
(With agency inputs)