Since becoming the heir to the crown in 2017, Mohammed has emphasized the importance of economic diversification in the conservative kingdom. Global fears regarding climate change and worries about the use of fossil fuels has played a part in Saudi Arabia selling a stake in Aramco, which was the world’s most profitable company last year, followed by Apple and the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China.
Last week’s IPO stood at $1.7 trillion, making Aramco the most valuable listed company in the world, but fell short of the $2 trillion valuation aimed for by Mohammed. The company floated 1.5 percent of its stake on the Riyadh stock exchange, or Tadawul.
Initially priced at 32 riyals ($8.53), shares rose the maximum 10 percent to 35.2 riyals on Wednesday, giving Aramco a market value of around $1.88 trillion, Reuters reported, surpassing Apple, which made history when it became the first $1 trillion publicly traded company.
More than 80 percent of the stake sale was bought by Saudi buyers, Reuters reported, following lukewarm interest from international investors. Saudi Arabia was shunned by some financial institutions for a brief period following the brutal murder of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul as a result of his criticism of Mohammed.