Riyadh/Dubai: Saudi Aramco shares surged the maximum permitted 10 per cent above their IPO price on their Riyadh stock market debut on Wednesday.
The shares closed at 35.2 riyals ($9.39) each, up from the initial public offering (IPO) price of 32 riyals and at the daily limit of price moves allowed by the Tadawul exchange.
That gives Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Aramco) a market value of about $1.88 trillion, comfortably making it the world's most valuable listed company.
"It's a great day for Saudi Arabia and the leadership of Saudi Arabia and for the people of Saudi Arabia. It's a D-Day for Aramco, it's a day of reckoning and vindication," Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told Reuters in Madrid.
Aramco raised a record $25.6 billion in its IPO last week.
Prince Abdulaziz said last week that Aramco was worth well over its IPO valuation of $1.7 trillion. The flotation propels the Riyadh bourse into the world's top 10 by value of listed companies.
Aramco's share price surge values it at more than six times US oil major Exxon Mobil Corp and far ahead of US tech giant Apple's $1.2 trillion price tag.
"We are hopeful that Saudi Aramco uses the Tadawul listing as a springboard to an eventual international listing," said Bassel Khatoun, managing director, frontier and MENA at Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity.
Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan told Reuters the bulk of the IPO proceeds would be used on domestic projects, while the global buzz around the listing would help attract foreign capital into the Saudi economy.
Aramco's debut comes as oil prices are being supported by a move by OPEC and oil producing allies to commit to some of the industry's deepest output cuts in a decade to try to avert oversupply.
Aramco shares began trading half an hour after the market opened as the bourse allowed extra time for investors to place bids in the "opening auction" in anticipation of high demand.
Some 1.1 billion riyals worth of Aramco shares changed hands. Aramco stock will become part of Tadawul index by next week and global benchmarks such as MSCI and FTSE later this month, which analysts said should fuel demand, particularly from investors who track such indexes.
The Saudi index closed up 0.8pc.
Saudi retail investors who hold their Aramco shares for six months from the first day of trading can get up to 100 bonus shares, or one for every 10 held.
Aramco will have the second biggest weighting on the Tadawul index of 9.7pc, according to Al Rajhi Capital. Al Rajhi Bank has the biggest weighting at 14.6pc due to its larger "free float" of publicly tradeable shares.
($1 = 3.7500 riyals)