Saudi Aramco IPO institutional tranche 2.95 times oversubscribed

Saudi Aramco IPO institutional tranche 2.95 times oversubscribed

Saudi Aramco IPO institutional tranche 2.95 times oversubscribed

Saudi Aramco is considering pricing its initial public offering at the top end of a marketed range, which would make it the world's biggest-ever new listing, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Aramco plans to sell 1.5% of its shares in a deal that could raise up to $25.6 billion. The committee reports directly to The Saudi crown prince.

The deal could be the world's biggest IPO if it tops the $25 billion listing of China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd in 2014.

Riyadh scaled back its original IPO plans, scrapping an worldwide roadshow to focus instead on marketing the offering to Saudi investors and wealthy Gulf Arab allies.

Aramco, which had set an indicative price range of 30-32 riyals per share, did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Aramco is expected to announce on Thursday, the results of the book-building for allocating shares to institutional buyers, typically asset managers, insurers or pension funds.

The lead managers did not provide a breakdown of the institutional investors, but in a separate statement last week Samba Capital said the bulk of orders came from Saudi companies and funds, while foreign investors accounted for just 10.5% of the offers as of November 28.

As of last Friday, Saudi Aramco had attracted total bids of US$44.3 billion for its initial public offering-or 1.7 times the money the Kingdom hopes to raise.

Aramco has previously said 0.5% of the offering will be allocated to retail investors, leaving 1% - or 2 billion shares - for institutional buyers.

A full allocation for retail investors who ordered 1,000 shares or less has also been recommended, one of the sources said, adding that allocation for higher than this amount would be decided on a pro-rata basis.

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