Saudi Aramco considers delay to international listing, eyes private sale – reports

Aramco dismissed the report as “entirely speculative” on Twitter



Saudi Arabia is considering a delay to the international listing of state oil giant Saudi Aramco until 2019, according to reports.

The Financial Times and Bloomberg cited sources as saying the company’s domestic share sale would go ahead next year but a two-stage listing was being considered.

Other potential plans include the domestic IPO and the sale of a private stake in Aramco to one of several ‘cornerstone investors’, such as the Chinese government, according to the FT.

If Aramco chooses to pursue a private sale an international listing could still follow in 2019, it said.

Aramco said on Twitter on Saturday that it was sticking to its 2018 schedule and reviewing venues for the IPO. It described the FT report as “entirely speculative”.

Bloomberg previously reported that the kingdom was making contingency plans for a possible delay to the listing, due in part to the limited time available to select an international stock exchange and weaker oil prices that could see the company valued at less than the $2 trillion outlined by officials.

To meet the valuation the 5 per cent stake sale would need to raise around $100bn.

Read: Saudi Aramco IPO could be pushed back to 2019

The Saudi government has insisted the plans remain on track and chief executive Amin Nasser repeated the message during a state visit to Russia by monarch King Salman earlier this month.

Read: Saudi Aramco IPO on track for 2018