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比苹果利润还高,沙特阿美上市将创造两项纪录

Adrian Croft 2019年12月11日

尽管西方投资者对其IPO价格持有保留态度,但沙特和海湾地区的机构和个人的需求足够庞大,推动本次上市创下历史纪录。

图片来源:GettyImages

沙特阿美将创下单只股票上市的两项纪录。

现在几乎可以肯定,在12月5日将IPO发行价定在区间上限后,沙特阿美将创造有史以来最大规模的上市纪录。而且,上市后的沙特阿美几乎肯定会击败苹果,成为全球市值最高的上市公司。

尽管西方投资者对其IPO价格持有保留态度,但沙特和海湾地区的机构和个人的需求足够庞大,推动本次上市创下历史纪录。沙特阿美是全球最大的石油生产商,沙特政府持有很小一部分股份。

利雅得时间12月5日晚间,沙特阿美宣布机构和个人投资者认购金额共1190亿美元,认购规模达到发售30亿股总金额的4.65倍。

最终,沙特阿美将IPO价格定为32里亚尔(约合8.53美元),为此前公布的30里亚尔至32里亚尔区间上限。

击败阿里巴巴

按照发行价格,占总股本1.5%的30亿股流通股总价达256亿美元,超过了阿里巴巴2014年创下的250亿美元纪录。

如果市场需求强劲,上市30天内承销商在沙特政府批准后实施全部或部分超额配售权,也即“绿鞋”机制。一旦该机制启动,发行股票数量将增加15%,市值也会增加数十亿美元。

如果所有股票顺利发行,认购总金额将升至294亿美元,轻松打破纪录。

本次IPO后,沙特阿美市值达到1.7万亿美元,超过苹果公司的1.16万亿美元,不过,该金额并未达到沙特王储穆罕默德·本·萨勒曼于2016年首次披露将出售沙特阿美股份时夸口的2万亿美元。

沙特阿美也是全球最赚钱的公司,本次上市后其市值比西方五大石油公司埃克森美孚、荷兰皇家壳牌、雪佛龙、道达尔和英国石油加起来还高。

机构投资者必须在12月8日前支付费用,稍后利雅得证券交易所将宣布股票交易时间。

欧佩克贸易

其实沙特阿美的市值与油价密切相关,就在IPO定价期间,欧佩克在维也纳发布的世界石油展望报告称,沙特阿拉伯、欧佩克其他产油国和俄罗斯就进一步减产达成一致,希望提振过去五年萎靡不振的油价。

由于市场对协议的预期,原油期货价格飙升,12月4日,布伦特原油价格每桶上涨超过2美元,每桶略低于63美元。

机构认购了1060亿美元的股票,沙特阿拉伯和海湾地区的个人投资者认购了130亿美元的股票,约是预留10亿股总金额的1.5倍。小投资者的需求并没有打破之前的上市纪录,2014年,沙特国家商业银行上市发行60亿美元的股票,散户投资者认购股份达发行股份的23倍。

尽管沙特阿美上市为全球最大规模,但对沙特政府来说苦乐自知。之前为了推进穆罕默德王储的“2030年愿景”计划,沙特经济加快现代化,同时减少对石油的依赖,沙特阿美部分私有化的历程也漫长而曲折。

最初的计划是在纽约或伦敦等国际交易所发行最多5%股份,筹集1000亿美元,为王储雄心勃勃的多元化计划筹集资金,计划当中包括投资5000亿美元兴建新型特大城市。但随着沙特阿美选择在本国的沙特交易所上市,规模也较原计划缩小,海外上市计划就此搁置。由于沙特政府对“皇冠之珠”报价较高,国际上大投资方犹豫不决,沙特阿美放弃了前往海湾以外地区上市的计划。

沙特投资者的出价过高?

一项针对31家国际资产管理公司的调查显示,投资者对沙特阿美的估值平均为1.26万亿美元,意味着沙特当局的估值已经高出约35%。券商伯恩斯坦和机构投资者分享平台Procensus调查的资产管理公司中,只有13%表示愿意按照IPO设定的价格区间买入。

沙特阿美承诺未来五年每年至少支付750亿美元的股息。根据沙特政府的估值,这意味着公司初始收益率为4.5%,明显低于大多数跨国石油巨头。参与调查的资产管理公司则认为,沙特阿美的收益率应该高于西方石油巨头。

“虽然投资者一致认为,阿美石油财务势力雄厚,还具有特许经营权,但公司治理薄弱,盈利增长前景有限,所以相较于同行有所折价。”伯恩斯坦建议不要参与此次IPO。

其他让西方投资者对参与沙特阿美上市望而却步的因素包括,化石燃料因导致全球变暖反对声浪不断加大,以及人们担心沙特的政治、安全和人权状况。

去年记者卡舒吉在沙特驻伊斯坦布尔领事馆遇害以来,沙特阿拉伯的国际声誉不断受损。今年9月一架无人机突袭了沙特阿美石油的两处设施,一时之间影响了沙特半数石油生产,也凸显了其脆弱性。也门胡塞组织宣布对该袭击负责,但美国和沙特都指责沙特在本地的竞争对手伊朗。伊朗则否认指控。

巨额利润

沙特阿美的石油产量上限决定权并不在管理层手中,而是沙特政府根据欧佩克目标制定。

另一方面,沙特阿美的业绩相当亮眼。2018年公司收入3560亿美元,净利润1110亿美元,超过了最近一个财年微软和苹果财政净收入总和。

2018年,沙特阿美日产原油1030万桶,约占全球原油产量八分之一,目前坐拥52年的储量。

此外,今年沙特阿美以690亿美元收购沙特基础工业公司多数股权后,也跻身全球化工行业重要参与者。

沙特阿美的历史最早可追溯至1933年,当时沙特阿拉伯特许加州标准石油公司,即现在的雪佛龙在沙特勘探石油。1938年第一次商业勘探成功。多年来,德士古,还有埃克森美孚和美孚的前身等其他几家美国石油公司都曾经入股沙特阿美,后来沙特政府逐步收回了股份。(财富中文网)

译者:Charlie

审校:夏林

Saudi Aramco is about to set two records in a single listing.

It’s now all but certain to score the biggest ever initial public share offering after setting the offer price at the top end of the range on December 5. And, in doing so, it will almost certainly land the title as the world’s most valuable listed company, beating Apple.

Despite reservations about the price among Western investors, Saudi and Gulf institutions and individuals generated enough demand to push the IPO into historic territory. The Saudi government is floating a tiny piece of the world’s biggest oil producer.

Institutions and individual investors bid a total of $119 billion, applying for 4.65 times the 3 billion shares on offer, Aramco announced on December 5 evening, Riyadh time.

Saudi Aramco set the final IPO price Thursday at 32 riyals ($8.53), at the top of the previously announced 30-32 riyal range.

Beating Alibaba

That values the 3 billion share free float—1.5% of the total—at $25.6 billion, beating the previous world record IPO of $25 billion set by Alibaba in 2014.

If there is strong demand, underwriters have the right at any time within the first 30 days of trading to take up all or part of the over-allotment, or “greenshoe”, option granted by the Saudi government that would expand the number of shares on offer by 15%, adding billions more to the valuation.

If taken up entirely, that would raise the total value of the offer to $29.4 billion, comfortably beating the old record.

The IPO will give Saudi Aramco a market value of $1.7 trillion, surpassing Apple’s $1.16 trillion, though it falls short of the $2 trillion valuation targeted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman when he first revealed his ambition to sell shares in Aramco back in 2016.

Aramco, the world’s most profitable company, will have a market value higher than that of the top five Western oil companies—ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, Total and BP—put together.

Institutions must pay for their shares by Dec. 8 and the Riyadh stock exchange will announce later when the shares will start trading.

The OPEC trade

Saudi Aramco’s value is closely linked to the oil price and the IPO pricing coincided with reports from Vienna that Saudi Arabia, other OPEC producers and Russia are set to agree on deeper oil production cuts to support prices that have languished for the past five years.

Oil futures prices surged in anticipation of the deal, with Brent rising more than $2 a barrel to just under $63 on December 4.

Institutions bid $106 billion for shares while individual investors in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf applied for $13 billion of shares, or about one and a half times the one billion shares set aside for them. Demand from small investors did not scale the heights of Saudi Arabia’s previous record IPO, the $6 billion flotation of National Commercial Bank in 2014, when retail investors applied for 23 times the shares on offer.

Although the flotation of Saudi Aramco will be the world’s biggest, the achievement will be bittersweet for the Saudi government. The cornerstone of Crown Prince Mohammed’s “Vision 2030” plan to modernize the Saudi economy and reduce its reliance on oil, the part-privatization of Aramco has been a long and tortuous process.

The original plan was to sell up to 5% of the company on an international exchange such as New York or London, raising $100 billion to fund the Crown Prince’s ambitious diversification plans which include a new $500 billion mega-city, but plans for an international listing were put on hold as Aramco went ahead with a smaller listing on the local Tadawul exchange. Aramco abandoned plans to market the shares outside the Gulf after big international investors balked at the high price tag that the Saudi government had put on its crown jewel.

Are Saudi investors overpaying?

A survey of 31 international asset managers released this week found that, on average, the investors valued Saudi Aramco at $1.26 trillion, which would mean Saudi authorities are over-valuing Aramco shares by around 35%. Only 13% of the asset managers surveyed by brokerage Bernstein and Procensus, an opinion-sharing platform for institutional investors, said they would buy shares in the price range set for the IPO.

Saudi Aramco has pledged to pay a dividend of at least $75 billion a year for the next five years. Based on the Saudi government’s valuation, that would mean the oil giant would trade on an initial yield of 4.5% which is significantly lower than most global oil majors, whereas the asset managers in the survey believed it should pay a higher yield than Western oil majors.

“While investors agree that Aramco has superior financial and franchise strength, weak corporate governance and limited earnings growth are reasons for the discount relative to peers,” said Bernstein, which is not advising on the IPO.

Other factors that dissuaded Western investors from putting money into the Aramco IPO included the growing backlash against fossil fuels that contribute to global warming as well as political, security and human rights concerns.

Saudi Arabia’s international reputation has suffered since journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year, while Aramco’s vulnerability was exposed in September by a drone attack on two of its installations that briefly knocked out half of Saudi oil production. The Yemeni Houthi group said it carried out the attack but Washington and Riyadh blamed Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival. Iran denies the charge.

Mega profits

The company’s maximum oil production levels are out of the hands of Aramco management as these are set by the Saudi government in line with OPEC targets.

Aramco’s financial might is impressive. The company reported revenues of $356 billion in 2018 and a net profit of $111 billion. That’s more than the combined net income reported by Microsoft and Apple in their most recent fiscal years.

It produced 10.3 million barrels of crude oil a day in 2018, or around one in eight barrels pumped worldwide, and is sitting on 52 years of reserves.

Aramco is also set to become a big player in the global chemical industry after buying a majority stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corp, SABIC, for $69 billion this year.

Saudi Aramco traces its origins back to 1933, when Saudi Arabia granted Standard Oil Co of California, now Chevron, a concession to explore for oil in the kingdom. The first commercial discovery was made in 1938. Over the years, several other U.S. oil companies—Texaco and predecessors of Exxon and Mobil—took stakes in what became known as the Arabian American Oil Co (Aramco) before it was acquired in stages by the Saudi government.

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