The retail portion of the 22.5 billion riyal ($6 billion) initial share sale by Saudi Arabia's National Commercial Bank was 16 times subscribed late on the final day of the offer, the bank said.
As of eight o'clock in the evening, 1.17 million subscribers had put up a total of 215.8 billion riyals for the 300 million shares offered to retail investors, which were priced at 45 riyals each.
The final results of the share sale, the biggest ever conducted in the Arab world and the second-largest globally this year after Alibaba Group in New York, will be announced in coming days, the state-owned bank said. The offer ran between Oct. 19 and Nov. 2.
In addition to the retail portion, which comprises 15 percent of its stock, Saudi Arabia's biggest bank by assets is placing 200 million shares or 10 percent of its stock with the state-run Private Pension Agency.
Investor demand for the share sale was overwhelming partly because Saudi authorities tend to price initial public offers of stock cheaply, using them to spread the kingdom's corporate wealth among its citizens.
Securities analysts said the 45 riyal offer price was at a considerable discount to NCB's true value, representing a price to book value of about 2.0 times while the Saudi banking sector's average is roughly 2.2 times.
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