RIYADH/DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Aramco (2222.SE) hit the $2 trillion target sought by de-facto Saudi leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday as its shares racked up a second day of gains, despite some scepticism about the state-owned oil firm’s value. Aramco’s initial public offering (IPO) is the centerpiece of the Saudi crown prince’s vision for diversifying the kingdom away from its oil dependence by using the $25.6 billion raised to develop other industries. But that is well below his 2016 plan to raise as much as $100 billion via a blockbuster international and domestic IPO. Riyadh scaled back its ambitions after overseas investors baulked at the proposed valuation and only 1.5% of Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Aramco) shares were listed on the Riyadh stock exchange on Wednesday, a tiny free float for such a huge company. Aramco shares hit 38.7 riyals ($10.32), lifting its market value above $2 trillion and closed at 36.8 riyals, a rise of 4.5% from Wednesday’s close and valuing the company at $1.96 trillion, Refinitiv data showed. While a 10% jump in the stock on its debut, the maximum allowed by the Riyadh exchange, was hailed by the Saudi government as a vindication, support… Read full this story
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