Aramco IPO looks set to underwhelm

Preparations for the public listing of Saudi state oil company, Aramco, have stepped up a gear this month but the signs are that it is unlikely to be the blockbuster sale that the Kingdom once hoped for. When plans for the listing were first mooted in 2016, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman targeted a 5% listing (partly on an international exchange) and a valuation of $2trn. But investor interest has not been as strong as expected and it now looks set to be a largely Saudi affair – a 1.5% stake sale on the Tadawul with a $1.6-1.7trn valuation and a heavy reliance on local investors. It’s now touch and go whether the sale will beat the record IPO of $25bn set by China’s Alibaba and the proceeds would barely cover the budget deficit for a year. And plans for this sale to be followed by an international listing seem to have lost momentum.
William Jackson Chief Emerging Markets Economist
Continue reading

More from Middle East

Middle East Economics Update

Energy market poses downside risk to the Gulf

OPEC+ left the door open last week to change its oil output policy before the next meeting and, if output is raised more slowly or not at all, this would knock GDP growth back mechanically in the Gulf – plausibly by around 0.5%-pts next year. At the same time, if oil prices drop further than we expect, Oman and Bahrain will have to tighten fiscal policy even further and probably rely on further financial assistance from other Gulf countries.

8 December 2021

Middle East Economics Update

Gulf ends 2021 strongly but Omicron a key threat

November’s batch of whole economy PMIs showed that non-oil sectors in the Gulf continued their recent strong trend, but the emergence of the Omicron variant – and threat of tighter restrictions – presents a clear downside risk to our above-consensus 2022 growth forecasts.

7 December 2021

Middle East Economics Weekly

Omicron, tourism and the oil market

Low vaccine coverage and large tourism sectors mean that the non-Gulf economies are particularly vulnerable to the emergence of the Omicron variant. Meanwhile, the drop in oil prices and the likelihood that OPEC+ raises oil output more slowly than previously envisaged has increased the downside risks to our GDP growth forecasts for the Gulf.

2 December 2021

More from William Jackson

Latin America Economics Weekly

Peru turmoil, Chile’s lockdown, hawks & doves

Pedro Castillo’s victory in Peru’s presidential election caused local markets to tumble, but if his more moderate post-election comments are borne out in policymaking, asset prices are likely to recover some lost ground. In Chile, while the latest lockdown has caused the near-term outlook to worsen, we retain a positive view on the economy’s growth prospects. The central bank’s forecasts published this week show that it is of a similar opinion (and that rates will rise this year as a result – in line with our projections). Elsewhere, the news that Mexico’s finance minister will take over as central bank governor next year adds weight to our view that Banxico bank will tolerate higher inflation.

11 June 2021

Latin America Data Response

Mexico Industrial Production (Apr.)

The surprise drop in Mexican industrial production in April may partly be payback for a strong March. And early indicators suggest that industrial activity picked up in May. Moreover, with services sectors recovering, we continue to think that the economy will grow by an above-consensus 6.5% this year.

11 June 2021

Emerging Europe Data Response

Turkey Industrial Production & Retail Sales (Apr.)

The m/m falls in Turkish industrial production and retail sales in April are likely to be followed by further weakness in May (when a three-week lockdown was in place). This supports our view that the economy will probably contract in q/q terms over Q2 as a whole. We suspect that the central bank will leave interest rates unchanged when it meets next week, but the softer economic activity figures will add to demands for rate cuts, which seem likely to come in July.

11 June 2021
↑ Back to top