Stocks

Saudi Aramco tests IPO level as payout pledge survives price war

Bloomberg Saudi Arabia | Updated on April 06, 2020 Published on April 06, 2020

Aramco shares retreated as much as 27 per cent from a peak in December to the low plumbed last month

Saudi Aramco shares have shaken off the ravages of an oil-price war to briefly regain the $1.7 trillion valuation that the company achieved in its record-breaking initial public offering.

The stock rose as much as 2.8 per cent to 32.55 Saudi riyals on Sunday in Riyadh, trading above the 32-riyal initial public offer (IPO) level it surrendered a month ago, only to turn negative in the last 10 minutes of the session and finish 0.5 per cent lower. Aramco’s slump over the past few weeks reflects a dispute between Saudi Arabia and Russia over production levels and market share for crude oil.

Aramco shares retreated as much as 27 per cent from a peak in December to the low plumbed last month, also dragged down by a decline in global oil demand as governments locked down economies to fight the coronavirus.

 

Saudi Aramco is at the center a price fight between the kingdom and Russia. The Saudi oil giant delayed the release of its key monthly oil pricing list, which was due on Sunday, until later this week. That should enable it to wait for an indication of what may happen at an OPEC+ meeting planned for Thursday to discuss crude production levels.

Oil posted a record weekly jump last week on hopes that global producers will agree to historic cuts in output.

Even though Brent has slumped almost 50 per cent this year, Aramco said March 16 it still intends to distribute at least $75 billion to shareholders in 2020. The company has outperformed oil majors such as Total SA and BP Plc, which are part of a wider group also retaining hefty payouts.

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Published on April 06, 2020
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