Saudi Ara­bia for­mally starts IPO of state-run oil firm

The Korea Times - - WORLD -

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.

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