Saudi Arabia formally starts IPO of state-run oil firm
DHAHRAN (AP) — Saudi Arabia formally started its long-anticipated initial public offering of its state-run oil giant Saudi Aramco on Sunday, which will see a sliver of the firm offered on a local stock exchange in hopes of raising billions of dollars for the kingdom.
An announcement from the kingdom’s Capital Market Authority announcing its approval for the share sale served as a starting gun for an IPO promised by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman since 2016.
The firm’s shares will be traded on Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange, said Amin H. Nasser, the president and CEO of Aramco, in an online video. Plans call for the firm to put other shares on a foreign exchange in the future.
“This is transformational and historic moment for Saudi Aramco,” Nasser said. He also stressed Aramco’s “disciplined financial approach and prudent and flexible balance sheet.”
Prince Mohammed hopes for a very-optimistic $2 trillion valuation for Aramco, which produces 10 million barrels of crude oil a day and provides some 10 percent of global demand. That would raise the $100 billion he needs for his ambitious redevelopment plans for a Saudi Arabia hoping for new jobs, as unemployment stands at over 10 percent.