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Sun 29 Jul 2007 03:40 PM

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Kingdom shares finish up 19.5%

Shares of Prince Alwaleed's Kingdom Holding debut 32% above IPO price, fall back to 19.5% later in day.

Shares of Prince Alwaleed's Kingdom Holding debuted 32% above their initial public offering (IPO) price on Sunday, their first day of trading on the Saudi bourse.

The shares opened at 13.5 riyals, and rose as high as 14.5 riyals in early trading.

Shares in the company fell back later in the day to finish up 19.5% over its initial IPO price of 10.25 riyals.

Hesham Abou Jamee, head of asset management at Bakheet Financial Advisors, said the trading price was within the firm’s expectations.

“We don't expect it to go much higher given the nature of Kingdom's business," Abou Jamee said.

"Given that 75% of Kingdom Holding's assets are in global stock markets, Kingdom shares will likely follow shares in its portfolio.”

Abou Jamee pointed to Kingdom's 3.6% stake in Citigroup, which accounted for around 47% of its total assets at the end of March, as a factor that would likely influence the stock's movement.

Kingdom raised 3.23 billion riyals ($861 million) through the IPO this month, which closed 164% oversubscribed.

Kingdom's IPO priced its shares at around 67 times 2006 earnings, more than five times the average for the Saudi bourse.