ADIA weighs investment of at least $1b in Aramco IPO

A view of Emirates Palace hotel from the Abu Dhabi corniche at dusk. Photo: Phillip Glickman

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is weighing an investment of at least $1 billion in the initial public offering (IPO) of Saudi Aramco, which is relying mainly on Saudi Arabian and Gulf investors to raise up to $25.6 billion, five sources familiar with the matter said.

A final decision on the amount has yet to be taken and would need approval from ADIA’s board of directors, one of the sources said.

ADIA, estimated to have assets of nearly $700 billion, is chaired by the president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, while its deputy chairman is Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

An ADIA spokesman and Aramco declined to comment.

Two of the sources said ADIA was considering an investment of at least $1 billion, while two other sources gave a range of between $1.5 billion to $2 billion.

State oil giant Aramco has struggled to attract a major cornerstone or anchor investor for its IPO, which could be potentially the world’s biggest. It has also approached Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) and Singapore’s GIC.

It had cancelled marketing roadshows for its listing outside the Gulf region on lack of interest from foreign institutional investors, many of whom see Aramco‘s valuation as expensive given concern over political, governance and environment issues.

Saudi Arabia aims to sell 1.5% of Aramco in the deal, valuing the company between $1.6 trillion and $1.7 trillion – lower than the $2 trillion target initially sought by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has made the offering a pillar of his ambitious economic diversification drive.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.