The Saudi Stock Exchange, also known as the Tadawul, in Riyadh. Image Credit: File photo

Marafiq, the Saudi Arabian utility whose shareholders include Aramco and Sabic, secured enough investor demand to fully cover it's up to $897 million (Dh3.29 billion) initial public offering within hours of opening order books.

Power and Water Utility Co. for Jubail and Yanbu, as the company is formally known, on Sunday set the price range for its IPO at between 41 riyals ($10.9) and 46 riyals a share, it said in a statement. 

Marafiq is part of a late-year rush of IPOs in the Middle East even as markets worldwide are hit by inflation fears and the risk of an economic slowdown. A surge in oil prices at the start of 2022, as well as increased investor inflows, led to a flurry of listings in the Gulf, which notched up its best first half on record.

IPOs have continued at a fast clip with issuers looking to take advantage of continued strong demand for share sales. Last month, a Saudi Arabian oilfield-services company also got enough orders for all shares on offer within hours.

Marafiq's IPO is the largest in the kingdom since pharmacy chain Nahdi Medical Co. raised $1.4 billion.

Book-building for Marafiq's IPO opens on Sunday and lasts until October 14, followed by a retail offering from October 26 to 29. The company would have a market value of $3.1 billion at the top end of the price range.

Marafiq has hired banks including HSBC Holdings Plc and Riyad Capital to manage the process. Shareholders who own 5 per cent or more in Marafiq are the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, Public Investment Fund, Saudi Aramco Power Co. and Saudi Basic Industries Corp.