Wednesday, November 12, 2014 12:09 pm
Shares in Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank surged 10 percent on Wednesday in their first day of trading after the kingdom’s largest public offering.
It raised $6 billion and was oversubscribed 23 times.
In early trading on the Tadawul All-Shares Index, the largest Arab bourse, NCB stock jumped the maximum allowed 10 percent to 49.5 riyals ($13.20), where it held steady.
That compared with the offered price of 45 riyals.
The shares were priced at a discount for the initial public offering and could double at the start of trading, an analyst forecast earlier, before Tadawul announced the stock would trade with a “fluctuation limit” of 10 percent up to 49.5 riyals.
For 15 days to November 2 the bank offered 300 million shares to the public in one of the world’s largest IPOs this year, receiving offers from 1.26 million Saudi subscribers for a value of 311 billion riyals, an unprecedented figure.
An additional 200 million shares are allocated to the state pension fund.
“This is the mother of all IPOs,” Beshr Bakheet, of the privately held Osool and Bakheet Investment Company, said at the time.
Chinese online giant Alibaba, which made its market debut in September, broke the record for the largest IPO offering when it raised $25.02 billion.
Despite the extraordinary value of NCB’s IPO, the number of subscribers was slightly below normal for the kingdom, and far off the 10 million Saudis who signed up for a 2006 IPO for a residential and economic city north of Jeddah.
NCB is the last of 12 Saudi banks to go public. Only three of them are fully compliant with Islamic sharia laws.
The investor interest came despite a ruling from the kingdom’s top Muslim cleric that the share offer is forbidden under Islam, which bans usury.
In 2007, Dubai port operator DP World raised a total of 4.96 billion dollars in its initial public offering, the largest ever in the Middle East at that time.