Next stop Abu Dhabi: Aramco in regional push to sell shares

The deal will now rely on local investors and won’t be marketed in the US, Canada and Japan



Saudi Aramco will meet investors in Abu Dhabi on Monday to drum up support for its share sale after pitching the offering in Dubai.

Chief Financial Officer Khalid Al-Dabbagh on Sunday briefed potential investors on strategy and dividend plans at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Dubai’s financial district, according to several participants who attended, but asked not to be identified because the meetings are private.

The event was invitation-only and participants wore name badges to access the ballroom area where the sessions were held. Attendees left with printed copies of Aramco’s more-than-600-page prospectus, but said they hadn’t received any information that wasn’t previously disclosed.

Aramco’s IPO is turning into a mainly regional affair after most international money managers balked at the reduced price target of $1.6 trillion to $1.71 trillion. The deal will now rely on local investors and won’t be marketed in the US, Canada and Japan. Roadshow events in London and other European cities were also canceled.

Still, some investors leaving the Dubai meeting said they were positive about Aramco’s prospects and would consider investing. Bankers on the deal saw sufficient early demand to pull off the IPO just three days after its launch, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

Saudi Arabia planned the offering as part of its economic diversification, using the company’s oil wealth to attract foreign capital.