Aramco CEO: Shares listing to include Saudi, one or two international markets

Amin Nasser said Aramco is still heading toward offering shares in the second half of 2018

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The President and CEO of Saudi Oil Company Aramco Amin Nasser told Al Arabiya that the New York Stock Exchange is one of the markets which Aramco is to offer its initial public offering (IPO) on despite the existing obstacles posed by the JASTA law.

Nasser told Al Arabiya’s Lara Habib on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum at Davos that Aramco is still heading toward offering shares in the second half of 2018 and not in the first quarter of the year.

“We are looking at all markets. The company is serious in considering all stock markets, including New York, London, Hong Kong and others. We continue to review markets, including New York’s, despite the JASTA law,” Nassed said.

On the possibility of offering shares in the London Stock Exchange, which sets the condition of offering at 25 percent of the company’s stocks, Nasser said: “The offering will be around 5 percent according to what Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the chairman of Aramco’s council, announced. It’s true that London’s stock exchange requires 25 percent as a minimum but these are details that are discussed with Britain, and Aramco is a big company. We are talking about 25 billion; this offer is four times more than Ali Baba’s. We are only looking at 5 percent, all the markets are willing and ready to cooperate with Aramco and look at all the different challenges and possibilities, we are very optimistic and the discussions was very rich and fulfilling.”

“For us, the proposal accounts for five percent, and it is still being discussed and debated. Primary offering will be in the Saudi market, while the listing would be double or triple. Surely, part of the five percent will be traded. As for the remaining part, we are still debating whether to trade it in two or three markets,” Nasser pointed out, which means that it will be offered as a dual or triple listing.

Nasser also spoke on a Wall Street Journal panel at Davos on Tuesday and said that $25 trillion would need to be invested over the 25 years on new oil capacity to meet rising demand. He added that renewable energy will gain a market share over the long term but it would not be dominant.

“It will take decades for them (renewables) to replace petroleum resources. So what we are doing in Saudi Aramco we are building our capacity in the oil,” he said.

He said that Saudi Arabia had oil capacity of 12.5 million barrels per day and it continues to build on that capacity, as well as expanding its gas portfolio.

“We will be doubling our gas over the next decade,” he said at the event. “(This will) enable us to put more crude (oil) onto the market,” he added.

Oil prices have seen a dramatic fall since mid-2014 due to oversupply in the industry with analysts also noting a fall in demand. Saudi Aramco has underlined plans to diversify their production.

The Saudi Aramco CEO iterated that there was still healthy demand, however, even with long-term predictions that stretch out to 2060. He added that oil “will be with us for decades.”

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