Officials: Saudi Aramco IPO Should Happen in 2018

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The plan for Saudi Aramco to launch its initial public offering during 2018 continues as scheduled, said senior officials in the Gulf Coast kingdom of Saudi Arabia while in Moscow Thursday. Saudi Arabia is gearing up to sign several investment agreements in Russia as well.

The plan of floating approximately 5% of the oil behemoth in an IPO is the kingdom’s centerpiece of Vision 2030, a reform plan that is wide-ranging to diversify the economy in Saudi beyond just oil.

The CEO of Aramco Amin Nasser during an energy forum held in Moscow said that work continues for listing Saudi Aramco during 2018.

Nasser added that Aramco officials will continue evaluating investors as it continues making progress related to the IPO’s location and timing.

The energy minister of Saudi Arabia Khalid al-Falih, who is also the chairman of Aramco, said Thursday that the oil company’s IPO would take place during the second six months of 2018, saying the listing was to be used as a big catalyst to open the Saudi economy.

The announcement related to the IPO will be made by the company in what Nasser called “in due course,” while he was taking part in a Moscow energy forum.

Saudi officials said that the IPO, which could be the biggest in the world, will give Aramco a value of more than $2 trillion, and could help raise up to $100 billion.

Money the IPO brings into the company is to be used for the developing of more sectors and industries within the country.

Aramco’s IPO is planned for a listing on the local stock exchange in Saudi Arabia and at least one exchange overseas, with London, Hong Kong, and New York three likely possibilities.

Nasser also said the government of Saudi Arabia would make a decision on the venue where it would be listed and that currently there were not talks taking place with companies in Russia to take part of its IPO.

Both Nasser and Falih represent part of the official delegation that is visiting Moscow. Several agreements related to investments will be signed during the delegation’s trip to Russia and a fund of $1 billion that will be used for energy projects.

These are just part of many efforts of two of the largest oil producers in the world to increase their cooperation.

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