Saudi Aramco confirms intention to list on Saudi stock market

John Benny, Al Arabiya English

Saudi Aramco on Sunday announced its intention to proceed with an initial public offering on the Saudi stock market of Tadawul.

The government intends to sell a portion of its shares in Saudi Aramco, the statement said.

“The price at which all subscribers in the offering will purchase shares the number of shares to be sold, and the percentage of the shares to be sold will be determined at the end of the book-building period,” the company said in a statement.

The IPO prospectus will be issued November 10, sources confirmed to Al Arabiya earlier on Sunday.

The purpose of the IPO, potentially the biggest ever, is to put Saudi Arabia on the fast track to diversifying its economy away from oil and transforming key sectors including mining, healthcare, and tourism in line with its Vision 2030 program.

“Today marks a significant milestone in the history of the company and important progress towards delivering Saudi Vision 2030, the Kingdom’s blueprint for sustained economic diversification and growth,” the company’s Chairman Yasser al-Rumayyan said in a statement.

Saudi Aramco is aiming to list a total of 5 percent to raise $100 billion at a $2 trillion valuation. The company is expected to list a 1 percent stake on Tadawul before 2019 end and another 1 percent in 2020, which will be followed up by an international offering in 2020 or 2021.

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.