By Anthony DiPaola and Nicolas Parasie
Locally-based investors left the briefings at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Dubai’s financial district with printed copies of the company’s more-than-600-page prospectus. The meetings were invitation-only and participants needed printed badges to access the ballroom area where the sessions were held. The executives said they didn’t receive information they hadn’t already seen from the company’s disclosures or media reports.
Saudi Arabia planned the Aramco IPO as a cornerstone of its economic diversification plans, using the company’s oil wealth to attract foreign capital to the country. Even after the oil giant set its valuation at lower than the initially mooted $2 trillion, Wall Street’s top banks have struggled to bring in foreign investors.
Malaysia’s state energy company Petroliam Nasional Bhd was one of the latest to decide against participating in the IPO. Some investors leaving the Dubai meeting said they were positive about Aramco’s prospects and would consider investing.
The price range for the share offering values the company between $1.6 trillion and $1.71 trillion. If Aramco achieves the higher end of that range, proceeds from the sale could exceed the previous record of $25 billion raised by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in 2014.