Saudi Aramco ready for IPO: CEO

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Speaking at the 24th World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi, Amin Nasser, the CEO of Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco, said the company is “ready” for its initial public offering (IPO). He confirmed it would be a two-stage IPO process and flagged a possible foreign listing as part of the offering.

Reports appeared in last August suggesting that the oil giant was considering splitting its IPO into two stages, introducing a portion of its shares on the Saudi Stock Exchange later this year, and following up with an international offering in 2020 or 2021.

Nasser declined to comment as to how much of the oil company would be listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul).

He added that the timing of the IPO was a “government decision.”

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's new energy minister, expressed his support for the IPO on Monday, and said that the Kingdom is aiming for the IPO as soon as possible.

A report by the Wall Street Journal suggested that Tokyo would be the likely second venue for the company’s shares. However, a source has told Al Arabiya that the date and place depend on the market’s circumstances and the decision of the owner.

The Aramco IPO is a cornerstone of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan which aims to wean the Saudi economy off its reliance on oil and diversify the economy.

It aims to raise up to $100 billion from the IPO of a five percent stake of the company, based on a $2 trillion valuation. This would make it the most valuable company in the world.

(With Agencies)

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