Saudi Aramco IPO likely to be delayed until 2019

  • Saudi Aramco IPO likely to be delayed until 2019

Saudi Aramco IPO likely to be delayed until 2019

Saudi Aramco's initial public offering is likely to be pushed back to next year or possibly later, as Saudi Arabia struggles to reach the $2 trillion valuation targeted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to a report.

In October, Saudi Energy Minster Khalid Al-Faith, who is also the chairman of Saudi Aramco, said that the IPO was expected to take place in the second half of 2018, with shares to be sold domestically on Saudi Arabia's Tadawul exchange, and also on a foreign stock exchange at the same time. Last week, Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told CNN that the risk of litigation after Congress passed a post-9/11 law allowing USA citizens to sue Saudi citizens is too great for a company the size and importance of Aramco.

NY and London have been front-runners to host the company's worldwide flotation, alongside a Riyadh listing.

Saudi Arabia wants to sell five per cent of the world's largest oil-producing company as part of an economic reform programme driven by The UK, which the crown prince visited last week, has been lobbying to secure the listing, which Prime Minister Theresa May and Xavier Rolet, former chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, visiting Riyadh a year ago.

The decision comes after Saudi Arabia held dozens of princes, ministers and tycoons in Riyadh's luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel in November previous year, in an anti-corruption push led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. There also are calls for the company to look eastward, for a Hong Kong listing.

Preparatory work on the part of Aramco has also been slow.