Saudi Arabia plans to sell shares in Riyadh as early as November, drawing on support from the Kingdom’s richest family to anchor the deal while an international listing may follow later.
Wednesday 18, September 2019
Saudi Aramco’s chairman said that the drone strike on the Kingdom’s main crude-processing plant will not slow preparations for an initial public offering (IPO) of the state-owned oil giant, reported Bloomberg.
Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the Chairman of Saudi Aramco, said that Saudi Arabia is committed to the IPO. Al Rumayyan refused to commit to a precise timetable, however, he said that the state-owned oil giant is ready to list any time in the next 12 months.
Similarly, Saudi Aramco’s CEO Amin Nasser said that all contracted supplies to customers would be met, so there will be no impact on the company’s financial performance.
Al-Rumayyan, who is also the Head of the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, was appointed Saudi Aramco Chairman at the start of this month as Saudi Arabia accelerated plans for the share sale, but the recent attack on the company’s Abqaiq oil facility, led to questions about whether the share sale could proceed.
Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has made the IPO a key part of his programme of economic reform, seeking a valuation of $2 trillion for the world’s largest oil producer.
Days before the drone strike, dozens of recently mandated bankers from Citigroup to JPMorgan Chase & Co. descended on the heart of Dubai’s financial district for a meeting to kick off IPO preparations.
The on-again-off-again plans for an Aramco listing had been put on hold as the firm focused on a $69 billion deal for a majority stake in petrochemical maker SABIC. When the preparations were revived this year, many of the banks that won roles initially had to start over, leading some to wonder whether it was worth the effort.
Saudi Aramco appointed Bank of America Corporation, Citigroup together with Credit Suisse Group, Goldman Sachs Group as well as JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley as top underwriting roles on the deal. Lazard and Moelis & Co. are also said to be advising Aramco on the listing.