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Arab News, Saturday, Nov 9, 2019 | Rabi Al Awwal 12, 1441

Saudis scramble to raise cash for Saudi Aramco share sale

Saudi Arabia: From tapping lenders to selling personal assets, Saudis are scrambling to raise cash to invest in Saudi Aramco stocks after the oil giant announced its blockbuster market debut.

The company said it plans to sell an unspecified number of shares on the Saudi stock exchange Tadawul. Retail investors in Saudi Arabia still appear to be salivating at the prospect of owning a piece of the world’s most profitable company.

“Some (Saudis) have started to sell other stocks in preparation to buy Aramco (shares),” said Ibrahim Ahmed, a Saudi energy industry analyst who is also considering investing his savings.

“People look at it as a sound investment. (But) I’m aware that it is a long-term investment that is good to have in a portfolio and not some kind of lottery ticket.”

Fahad Hashemi, portfolio manager at the Riyadh-based Middle East Financial Investment Co, said his firm had a “strong intention” to participate.

Eid Al-Shamri, chief executive of investment bank Ithraa Capital, said some Saudis were considering selling their homes or borrowing money to purchase shares.

“This is definitely a serious event that will be recorded in the history of Saudi Arabia,” Shamri told Bloomberg News. “A lot of people are talking about it. But what is the extent of the people’s participation? We are tightening our belts.”

In a 21-page document released by the company, the company called the IPO a “unique investment proposition.”

Aramco Chief Executive Amin Nasser said the company was committed to offer shareholders “long-term value creation.”

To promote participation by all sections of Saudi society, divorced women or widows with minors will be eligible to receive bonus shares, local media reported.

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