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Thu 19 Dec 2019 07:39 PM

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Saudi Aramco shares extend losing streak to third day

Shares in Saudi energy giant dip 3.3% on Thursday as investors opted to collect profits

Saudi Aramco shares extend losing streak to third day

Aramco shares surged almost 19 percent on the first four days of trading, with its valuation surpassing the $2 trillion mark.

Saudi Aramco shares extended a losing streak to a third day on Thursday, shedding much of their initial gains seen after a blockbuster initial public offering as investors take profits.

The share price of the world's largest publicly listed company dipped 3.3 percent from Wednesday and ended the Sunday to Thursday trading week 3.5 percent lower, as investors opted to collect profits.

The company share price closed Thursday at 35.50 riyals ($9.5), down from last week's closing of 36.80 riyals and way below its highest price of 38.00 riyals reached on Monday.

The energy giant was listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange Tadawul on December 11 following the largest ever initial public offering, in which the company raised $25.6 billion after selling 1.5 percent of its stocks.

Aramco shares surged almost 19 percent on the first four days of trading, with its valuation surpassing the $2 trillion mark sought by de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman when he floated the IPO almost four years ago.

But in the following three days, the company dropped 6.6 percent and lost some $133 billion of its market value, which now stands at $1.89 trillion -- still the world's largest.

"The listing gains could have prompted those who successfully bid for its IPO to exit," said M.R. Raghu, head of research at the Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz).

"Capturing the listing gains happens in most cases and more so in an IPO that is predominately driven by retail investors," Raghu told AFP.

As many as 5 million mostly Saudi individual investors have bought shares in the Aramco IPO.

Aramco has guaranteed that it will distribute dividends of at least $75 billion every year until 2024 as a way of luring investors.

Last year, the company posted a net profit of $111 billion, making it the most profitable firm in the world.

Raghu said that oil prices, which have been rising in recent days, could wield significant influence over Aramco stock.

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