'Risk of terror attacks': Saudi Aramco prospectus gives few details on IPO size

News Network
November 10,2019

Dubai, Nov 10: Saudi state oil giant Aramco will sell 0.5 per cent of its shares to individual retail investors and the government will have a lockup period of a year on further share sales after the initial public offering, its prospectus said on Saturday.

The more than 600-page prospectus did not include details of how much of the company would be floated in total or of any commitments from anchor investors.

Sources have said the company could sell 1 per cent-2 per cent on the Saudi stock market in what could be the world's largest listing.

Offering for the shares will begin on November 17, the prospectus said.

Aramco fired the starting gun on the initial public offering (IPO) on November 3 after a series of false starts. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is seeking to raise billions of dollars to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil by investing in non-energy industries.

Among the risks highlighted in the prospectus were the potential for terrorist attacks and the potential for encountering antitrust legislation, as well as the right of the Saudi government to decide maximum crude output and direct Aramco to undertake projects outside its core business.

Aramco may also change its dividend policy without prior notice to its minority shareholders, it said.

Aramco's oil facilities were targeted on September 14 in unprecedented attacks that temporarily shut 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of output - more than 5 per cent of global oil supply.

LOCKUP PERIOD

The prospectus said the government will have a "statutory lockup period" for disposing of any shares after the listing for six months, and a contractual lockup period for 12 months.

Aramco cannot list additional shares for a period of six months after trading starts, and will also be restricted from issuing additional shares for 12 months.

The offering for institutional investors will begin on November 17 and end on December 4, while retail investors will be able to bid for the shares from November 17 to November 28, the prospectus said.

"Aramco IPO is an opportunity that shouldnt be missed, the largest company in the world....holding aramco shares is an absolute gain", a Saudi with a twitter handle named Abdulrahman wrote.

Aramco has been in talks with Gulf and Asian sovereign wealth funds and wealthy Saudi individuals to secure top investors of the IPO, but no anchor investor is yet to formally agree to a deal.

The Russia-China Investment Fund is working to attract Chinese investors for Aramco's planned IPO, the head of Russia's RDIF sovereign wealth fund said on Thursday.

Bankers have told the Saudi government that investors will likely value the company at around USD 1.5 trillion, below the USD 2 trillion valuation touted by Prince Mohammed when he first floated the idea of an IPO nearly four years ago.

Initial hopes for a 5 per cent IPO on domestic and international bourses were dashed last year when the process was halted amid debate over where to list Aramco overseas.

Aramco said the timetable was delayed because it began a process to acquire a 70% stake in petrochemicals maker Saudi Basic Industries Corp <2010.SE>.

The prospectus said Goldman Sachs was named as stabilizing agent for the deal.

Analysts from banks working on the Riyadh bourse have projected a wide valuation range between USD 1.2 trillion to USD 2.3 trillion.

At the top valuation of USD 2 billion, Aramco could potentially raise USD 40 billion, topping the record-breaking USD 25 billion raised by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2014.

The valuation would be almost twice that of Microsoft, currently the world's most valuable listed company, and seven times that of Exxon Mobil Corp, the biggest listed oil major by market capitalisation.

"Due to its size and likely free float, Aramco should be eligible for fast-track inclusion in both the FTSE and MSCI Emerging Market indices within 10 days of the IPO," said Dominic Bokor-Ingram, senior portfolio manager, frontier markets, Fiera Capital (Europe).

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Kuwait's 91-year-old ruler 'successfully' undergoes surgery

Agencies
July 19,2020

Kuwait City, Jul 19: Kuwaiti ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah has successfully undergone surgery early on Sunday, the emir's office said.

"His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah ... has undergone surgery this morning, with thanks to God for its success," the head of the emir's office Sheikh Ali Jarrah al-Sabah said, as quoted by state news agency KUNA.

The 91-year-old was admitted to hospital for a medical checkup.

Yesterday, a royal order was issued assigning Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed al-Sabah, the emir's designated successor, "to take over some constitutional jurisdictions of His Highness the Emir temporarily"

In August 2019, Kuwait acknowledged the emir suffered an unspecified medical "setback" that required him to be hospitalised.

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Benjamin Netanyahu corruption trial resumes

Agencies
July 19,2020

Occupied Jerusalem, Jul 19: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial resumed on Sunday.

Netanyahu is charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in a series of scandals in which he is alleged to have received lavish gifts from billionaire friends and exchanged regulatory favors with media moguls for more agreeable coverage of himself and his family.

Netanyahu denies wrongdoing, painting the accusations as a media-orchestrated witchhunt pursued by a biased law enforcement system.

The trial opened in May. Just before appearing in front of the judges, Netanyahu took to a podium inside the courthouse and flanked by his party members bashed the country’s legal institutions in an angry tirade.

Netanyahu was not expected to appear at Sunday’s hearing, which is taking place at an occupied Jerusalem court and is mostly a procedural deliberation.

The trial resumes as Netanyahu faces widespread anger over his government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.

While the country appeared to have tamped down a first wave of infections, what’s emerged as a hasty and erratic reopening sent infections soaring. Yet even amid the rise in new cases Netanyahu and his emergency government — formed with the goal of dealing with the crisis — appeared to neglect the numbers and moved forward with other policy priorities and its reopening plans.

It has since paused them and even re-impose restrictions, including a weekend only lockdown set to begin later this week.

Netanyahu’s government has been criticized for a baffling, halting response to the new wave, which has seen daily cases rise to nearly 2,000. It has been slammed for its handling of the economic fallout of the crisis.

His trial thus comes at inopportune timing. Netanyahu had hoped to ride on the goodwill he gained from overcoming the first wave of infections going into his corruption trial, but the increasingly souring mood has affected his approval rating and may deny him the public backing he had hoped for. The anger has sparked protests over the past few weeks that have culminated in violent clashes with police.

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Dubai: NRI student Ahmed Ziyad who died after CBSE Grade 12 exams scores top marks

News Network
July 18,2020

Dubai, July 18: An NRI student who passed away in Dubai shortly after shortly after attempting his Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Grade 12 papers in March, has scored an impressive 91.4 per cent on his board examinations, including 100 in his media studies paper.

Ahmed Ziyad, a student of GEMS Our Own Indian School in Al Qouz, Dubai, died on March 19, suffered a heart condition called Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) that stopped him from being active in sporting activities.

Ziyad's parents, teachers, and classmates remember him as a very ambitious pupil, who wanted to launch his own business and achieve great things in his life. His board results are - mass media studies 100, Marketing 97, English 84, Entrepreneurship 82, and Home Science 94.
 
Ziyad's father, Shanavaz Manangath, a real estate professional who has been a resident of Dubai for over two decades said, "Six months ago, he had collapsed while playing with his friends. Since there was an irregularity in his heartbeat, he could not take part in any strenuous activities." He added, "Ziyad had just started playing with his friends on March 19 when he suddenly collapsed and died shortly after. My family has not been able to overcome his loss."

Unable to hold back his tears, an emotional Manangath said Ziyad wanted to do his BBA and launch his own business, "He was very ambitious. Honestly, I haven't looked into his board exam results, but, I know he had studied very hard for the exams."

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