Saudi Arabia appoints PIF chief as new Aramco chairman

Al-Falih will be replaced by Yasir al-Rumayyan, governor of the Public Investment Fund. (File photo: Reuters)

Saudi Arabia's cabinet approved on Tuesday the appointment of Public Investment Fund chief Yasir al-Rumayyan as the new chairperson of Saudi Aramco, removing Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih from the position, ahead of the company's planned initial public offering (IPO).

Aramco’s IPO could be the world’s largest, and is expected to be worth nearly $2 trillion, according to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is spearheading the country’s Vision 2030 plan to diversify and strengthen the Kingdom’s economy.

“I congratulate my brother His Excellency Mr. Yasser Othman al-Rumayyan, Governor of the Public Investment Fund, on his appointment as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saudi Aramco, which comes as an important step to prepare the company for the public offering, wishing him every success,” al-Falih said on his official Twitter account on Monday evening.

Saudi Arabia is working towards listing Aramco in 2020-21 as the company moves towards completing its merger with petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries Corp., al-Falih said in July.

The Kingdom, however, is said to be considering a plan to split the IPO into two stages, debuting a portion of its shares on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) later this year, and following up with an international offering in 2020 or 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported last Thursday, citing people familiar with the plans.

Saudi managing director of the Public Investment Fund Yasir Al-Rumayyan speaks during a press conference on the State Budget 2018 at the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) offices in Riyadh, on December 20, 2017. (AFP)

Saudi managing director of the Public Investment Fund Yasir Al-Rumayyan speaks during a press conference on the State Budget 2018 at the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) offices in Riyadh, on December 20, 2017. (AFP)

The decision to appoint al-Rumayyan as Aramco’s new chairman comes after the Kingdom decided to split the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources from the Ministry of Energy. The appointment of al-Rumayyan was likely a move to prepare the oil giant for its IPO by establishing Aramco and the Ministry of Energy as two discrete entities.

The Ministry of Energy will still be headed by al-Falih, while the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources will be led by Bandar Alkhorayef.

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Last Update: 06:56 KSA 09:56 - GMT 06:56
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