The Saudi Telecom Company (STC) sold 30% of its shares in a public offering valued at approximately U.S. $4 billion. The offering was oversubscribed, as investors offered to buy $9.6 billion worth of shares, according to Saudi Minister of Finance and National Economy Ibrahim Al-Assaf.
"At close of the IPO, the value of requests filed by citizens was $9.6 billion. The process was a huge success," said the minister, a day after the three-week subscription period ended.
Saudi Telecom posted net profits of $762.4 million in the first nine months of 2002. Total assets were $11.4 billion on Sept. 30, 2002, but economic studies predicted they would swell by another 20 percent once the company is listed.
The IPO of Saudi Telecom is part of a broader privatization program directed at helping to modernize and expand the Saudi economy. The Kingdom has previously announced and implemented plans to privatize many of its vital economic sectors including: telecommunications, civil aviation, desalination, highway management, railways, sports clubs, municipal services, health services and government hotels.