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The Record-Shattering Aramco IPO: Can You Get a Piece?

Sarah Cunnane
The Record-Shattering Aramco IPO: Can You Get a Piece?

Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil monopoly has pulled off a record-shattering initial public offering.

Saudi Aramco became the world’s most valuable company, surging past Apple and Google, after the oil giant started trading publicly Wednesday morning. The company's newly minted shares immediately spiked 10% and hit the daily limit on the Saudi stock exchange.

Earlier this week, Aramco raised $25.6 billion for its IPO, which valued the company at $1.7 trillion.

Once the stock made its market debut, the company surpassed its initial valuation and is now worth a staggering $1.9 trillion — putting it well ahead of tech giants Microsoft, Apple and Google.

Aramco also sits comfortably ahead of its global competition in the energy industry. The company is worth $1 billion more than BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil and Chevron — combined.

The oil monopoly's IPO was meant to help bolster and finance Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Vision 2030 program, aimed at transforming the Saudi economy.

The demand for Aramco stock is very strong, given that only 1.5% of the company’s shares are trading publicly. That leaves Saudi individual and institutional investors salivating for a piece.

Aramco surged again on Thursday and became the first — and only — company to touch $2 trillion in valuation.

Where can I buy Aramco?

John_Silver / ShutterStock
The Aramco Services Company building in Houston, Texas.

So can you get in on the action? Can you open an investing account and buy some high-flying Aramco stock?

Sorry to break it to you, but — no.

Currently, the company is listed only on the Tadawul, the Saudi stock exchange. Unless you have a Saudi passport, American retail investors aren't able to purchase any shares in the company — possibly not ever. A U.S. listing is currently off the table for the foreseeable future, because the Saudi government wants to avoid U.S. legal jurisdiction.

Aramco has sold 0.5% of its shares to investors, most of whom are Saudi nationals. The remaining 1% were sold to Saudi-based institutional investors. It is rumored that Mohammed bin Salman will offer up to 5% of the company’s shares on the international market.

If you can't get a stake in Aramco, you might want to invest in one of the stocks launched in 2019’s hottest U.S. IPOs.

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