Sticking to 2021 timeline on Aramco IPO — Saudi minister
OIL GIANT’S PLANNED BOND ISSUANCE EXPECTED TO BE IN $10-BILLION RANGE
Saudi Arabia’s Energy minister Khalid Al Falih said yesterday the Kingdom is sticking to its 2021 timeline for Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering (IPO).
He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi.
During a speech at the event, Al Falih had said Aramco is the world’s most important and valuable company and the revision of oil reserve estimates — following independent certification by third party consultant — confirms the highest standards of professionalism by Saudi Aramco and the good governance practices of the Saudi government.
‘Bodes well for plans’
“Aramco is indeed the world’s most valuable company and the world’s most important. This bodes well for the company’s bond plans, which will be launched in a few months, ahead of the acquisition of Sabic shares from PIF [Public Investment Fund] and of course the IPO [which is] not too distant in the future.”
When asked by reporters how big the bond is expected to be, he said it will be in the range of 10 billion.
“We will decide within the next couple of weeks,” he said, ■ without specifying the currency of the planned issuance of the bond.
The Saudi oil giant will issue the bonds in the second quarter of this year and they are likely to be denominated in US dollars, according to a report by Reuters. Al Falih also said the government would continue to invest in the oil and gas sector as per the Kingdom’s policy. Saudi Arabia first announced plans for an Aramco IPO in 2016. The country’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman predicted the sale would value the company at $2 trillion or more.
Subsequently the IPO was put on hold last year due to acquisition plans of Saudi Basic Industries (Sabic). There was widespread speculation the IPO might never happen, but Khalid Al Falih announced in Abu Dhabi yesterday the IPO was on track for 2021.
Khalid Al Falih speaks Gen James L Jones Jr of the Atlantic Council on the second day of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi yesterday.