Saudis to sell 49% of Aramco within decade

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Saudi Ara­bia plans to sell up to 49 per­cent of its oil gi­ant Saudi Aramco within 10 years as the world’s largest crude ex­porter tries to lower its deficit, lo­cal me­dia said yes­ter­day. The Al-Eqti­sa­diah daily quoted an un­named of­fi­cial as say­ing the sale would raise funds to be spent “at home and abroad” in what is ex­pected to form the world’s largest state in­vest­ment fund. The king­dom is look­ing to di­ver­sify its oil-de­pen­dent economy and has al­ready an­nounced cut­backs af­ter its 2015 deficit snow­balled to $97 bil­lion. The IPO for state-owned Aramco could take place in 2018 and an ini­tial sale of a five per­cent share is ex­pected to form the ba­sis for the fund hold­ing around $2 tril­lion in as­sets. The firm will next year be­gin pub­lish­ing quar­terly re­sults in a bid to at­tract po­ten­tial in­vestors, Aramco chief Amin Nasser has said.

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