Saudi Aramco is likely to list its shares simultaneously on more than one exchange but this is still under evaluation, Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Thursday.
Asked by reporters if Aramco would list first on the Saudi bourse and then on another exchange abroad, Falih said: “It will probably be done concurrently, but we have not announced. We are evaluating. All our options are open.”
The planned listing next year of up to 5 per cent of Aramco, expected to be the world’s biggest initial public offer of shares, is a centrepiece of the Saudi government’s plan to diversify the economy beyond oil.
The first independent audit of Saudi Aramco’s oil reserves has confirmed the state oil company’s own figures, sources familiar with the situation said, ahead of its planned share market listing next year.
Based on a figure of 265 billion barrels, Aramco’s fields contain about 15 per cent of the world’s proven reserves. Any finding that the reserves are significantly above or below that could affect the company’s market value in the listing.
The IPO plan is being championed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who oversees energy and economic policy in the world’s top oil-exporting country.
Prince Mohammed has said he expects the IPO, which will offer up to 5 per cent of the company, to value Aramco at a minimum of $2 trillion.