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Alinma's $2.8bn IPO oversubscribed

Riyadh, April 15, 2008

Saudi Arabia's Alinma said its 10.5 billion riyal ($2.8 billion) initial public offering, the kingdom's largest ever, was oversubscribed three days before the close of subscriptions.

Alinma Bank was seeking to sell 1.05 billion shares at 10 riyals each in the April 7-16 IPO. The sale represents 70 percent of the new bank's capital.

The bank raised 10.64 billion riyals from about 5.4 million subscribers, newspapers including Al-Watan quoted Alinma as saying.

The majority of subscribers used telephone banking, the Internet and ATMs to buy shares, newspapers said.

Like other IPOs, only Saudi nationals could buy the shares with a minimum of 50 shares each, according to the listing prospectus.

The Public Investment Fund and two state pension funds -- the General Organisation for Social Insurance (GOSI) and the Public Pension Agency -- will equally share the remaining 30 percent of Alinma's 15 billion riyals capital.

Alinma's IPO, delayed several times last year, could surpass the $2.72 billion Saudi Telecom Co raised in its public share sale in 2003 as the kingdom's largest.

Alinma Bank, which has yet to start business, will provide Shariah-compliant services and also arrange project financing.

It is to begin operations in the second half of 2008 with 15 branches across the country of about 25 million people. - Reuters

Tags: IPO | Saudi | Alinma |

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