Saudi Crown Prince approves kick-off of Aramco IPO on Sunday: Sources

Staff writer, Al Arabiya English

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Friday agreed that the initial public offering of state oil giant Aramco will be announced on Sunday, five sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The world’s top oil company will announce its intention to float (ITF) on Nov. 3, the sources said.

“The crown prince finally gave the green light,” one source said.

Aramco declined to comment.

Al Arabiya had reported on Wednesday that Saudi Capital Markets Authority’s announcement of the intention to float the initial public offering (IPO) would take place on November 3.

Pricing will start on November 17 with a final price for the float expected to be announced on December 4.

Saudi Arabia is looking to list state-owned Aramco on markets on the Saudi Stock Exchange and abroad. The Aramco IPO is a cornerstone of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 reform plan, which aims to wean the Kingdom off its reliance on oil and diversify the economy.

Last month’s attacks on two key oil installations in Saudi Arabia knocked off five percent of the global crude supply, which has since been restored by the world’s largest oil exporter.

“I want to move on… we in the energy industry in Saudi Arabia, we have got a few challenges, we have got an IPO and we want to make sure it’s a successful IPO,” Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz said at the Russia Energy week earlier this month.

(With Agencies)

FAQ's

Saudi Aramco is the Kingdom’s state-owned energy company and the world’s biggest oil producer. In November, the company reported a profit of $68 billion for the first nine months of 2019 – making it the most profitable company in the world.
An initial public offering (IPO) is the process by which a company sells a portion of its ownership (shares) to public investors to raise funds (also known as capital). The company sells its shares by listing them on a public stock exchange, where investors can purchase them.
"I am honored to announce that Saudi Aramco will become a listed company on the Saudi Stock Exchange,” Chairman Yassir al-Rumayyan said in early November. The exact percentage of the company and the possibility of another listing on a foreign exchange are both still unknown details, however.
Senior Saudi Arabian authorities have targeted a $2 trillion valuation. At this valuation, a 5 percent listing would raise $100 billion in funds – dwarfing any other IPO in history. However, some analysts and investment banks have predicted a range closer to between $1.2 and $1.5 trillion.
The IPO prospectus is expected to be released on November 10, with pricing expected November 17. Meanwhile, the float is expected to take place on December 4, followed by trading on December 11.
The IPO is part of Saudi Arabia’s overall strategy to transition into a post-hydrocarbon age. The income generated would be funneled into the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF). Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plans to transform the PIF into a giant investment vehicle to help the country diversify its economy and reduce its reliance on oil revenues.
Saudi Vision 2030 is the Kingdom’s ambitious plan to diversify its economy by reducing dependence on oil and developing non-oil sectors ranging from healthcare to mining. The IPO is seen as a cornerstone of Vision 2030, boosting the PIF as the long-term investment vehicle for the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

- The Crown Prince is the architect of Vision 2030 and originally announced plans to list shares of Saudi Aramco in 2016.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister

- Prince Abdulaziz assumed the role of energy minister in September of this year, replacing Khalid al-Falih.

Yasir al-Rumayyan, Chairman, Aramco

- Al-Rumayyan became chairman of Aramco’s board in September. He is best known as governor of the PIF, a role he continues to hold.

Amin Nasser, President and CEO, Aramco

- Nasser has been with Aramco for more than three decades and has held numerous leadership positions.