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Saudi Aramco’s $12 billion share sale sold out shortly after the deal opened on Sunday, in a boon to the government.

The government had demand for all shares on offer in a few hours after books opened, according to terms of the deal seen by Bloomberg News. Books were covered across the price range of 26.70 riyals to 29 riyals.

The shares fell as much as 2.9 per cent to 28.30 riyals Sunday, valuing Aramco at about $1.8 trillion. The stock has dropped about 14 per cent this the start of this year, when Bloomberg News first reported the government’s intention to offload a stake.

A top selling point of the offer is the chance to reap one of the oil industry’s biggest dividends. Investors would cash in on a $124 billion annual payout that Bloomberg Intelligence estimates will give the company a dividend yield of 6.6 per cent.

Aramco’s record $29.4 billion IPO had drawn orders worth $106 billion. It’s not yet clear how much of the orders on Sunday came from overseas.

The Saudi government owns about 82 per cent of Aramco, while the kingdom’s wealth fund holds a further 16 per cent stake. The kingdom will continue to be the main shareholder after the offering.

The deal ranks among the largest share sales globally since Aramco’s listing. Proceeds will help fund initiatives to diversify the economy as the kingdom pushes into artificial intelligence, sports, tourism and projects such as Neom.

The deal coincides with a period of strong demand for new share sales in Saudi Arabia. In recent weeks, four firms drew a combined $176 billion in orders for their initial public offerings as fund managers flocked to deals that have offered near-guaranteed returns over the last two years.