Saudia Arabia is planning a three-way listing that includes London for its state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco, according to the Telegraph.
The paper’s well-connected international business editor Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports that the $2.5 trillion oil giant will list shares in London, Hong Kong, and New York. It follows signals from an oil-ministry adviser last month that all three options were on the table.
He also reports that the Saudis are trying to convince international oil giants ExxonMobil, China’s Sinopec, and BP to take strategic stakes in the listing, offering them long-term access to deals in exchange.
Aramco is the biggest oil company in the world, controlling around 10% of the world’s oil output. Its record-breaking stock market listing is expected to value the company at $2.5 trillion and is scheduled for either next year or 2018.
Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the favoured son of King Salman who has established himself as the effective ruler of the Kingdom, says Aramco will sell 5% of its equity, valuing the shares at $100bn (£70bn) to $150bn. He surprised the world by revealing plans for the sale in an interview with the Economist in January.
The proceeds of the sale will be invested in diversifying Saudi Arabia away from oil, as part of the country’s Vision 2030.
As well as privatising part of Aramco, Saudi Arabia has also named its first new oil minister in 20 years as part of reforms aimed at achieving Vision 2030. Khalid al-Falih, chairman of the state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco, has taken up the role. He is an ally of Prince Salman and is said to favour reform.
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