Saudi Arabia’s oil company surpassed Apple as the largest listed company in the world after Aramco shares surged the maximum permitted 10% above their IPO price on their Riyadh stock market debut on Wednesday, in a move hailed by the government as a vindication of its towering $2 trillion valuation of the state oil company.
The shares closed at 35.2 riyals ($9.39) each, up from the initial public offering (IPO) price of 32 riyals and at the daily limit of price moves allowed by the Tadawul exchange. That gives Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Aramco) a market value of about $1.88 trillion, comfortably making it the world’s most valuable listed company and closing in on the $2 trillion price tag long coveted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Aramco, owned by the state, has sold a 1.5 percent stake in the company, pricing its shares before trading at 32 Saudi riyals, or $8.53. “It’s a great day for Saudi Arabia and the leadership of Saudi Arabia and for the people of Saudi Arabia. It’s a D-Day for Aramco, it’s a day of reckoning and vindication,” Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told Reuters in Madrid.
Aramco is worth more than the top five oil companies — Exxon Mobil, Total, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and BP — combined. It also has one of the lowest costs of production, estimated at around $4 a barrel.
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