Thursday 12 December 2019 9:15 am

Saudi Aramco hits $2 trillion valuation as shares open higher

Saudi Aramco shares opened 10 per cent higher in the second session of trading today, sending the state-owned oil company’s value above $2 trillion (£1.5 trillion).

The shares rose as high as 38.7 Saudi riyals before easing to just over 38 riyals – a rise of more than eight per cent.

Read more: Saudi Aramco shares rise by a tenth on state oil company’s market debut

The spike meant Saudi Aramco briefly hit the eye-watering $2 trillion market capitalisation sought by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi Aramco set the record for the world’s largest initial public offering last week when its Riyadh listing raised $25.6bn.

This edged past the previous record of $25bn set by Chinese tech giant Alibaba in 2014.

The state-owned firm enjoyed a strong trading session on its first day, when its share price rose 10 per cent, making it the world’s most valuable company.

Its market cap is more than that of the five biggest international oil companies combined.

However, bin Salman had previously set out plans to raise $100bn via international and domestic listings of a five per cent stake.

Read more: Saudi Aramco IPO to be largest in history at $25.6bn

The plans received muted interest from foreign investors, and the crown prince instead pushed for the $2 trillion target by asking Saudi Arabia’s richest institutions and families to buy into the stock.

Aramco’s float is a central pillar of bin Salman’s plans to diversify the Saudi economy away from its reliance on oil.