Saudi government to keep majority stake in Aramco

Analysts say the company could be worth as much as $10 trillion

Oil up on Saudi, Russia meeting

The Saudi government is planning to keep a controlling stake in state-owned Saudi Aramco should the company be listed, according to a letter from chief executive Amin Nasser in the company’s weekly magazine.

The company, which controls up to 15 per cent of all global oil deposits announced that it was considering listing last Friday in a brief statement.

“A range of options are being considered, including the listing in the capital markets of an appropriate percentage of Saudi Aramco shares with the government retaining a controlling interest, as well as the option to list a bundle of downstream businesses and interests,” Nasser wrote in a letter published in Aramco’s Arabian Sun, according to Reuters.

The chief executive cited the government’s privatisation initiative and broader economic reforms as the motivations for them move.

Aramco chairman Khalid al-Falih told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week that no plans were “concrete at this stage to do the listing” and studies were still ongoing. He suggested that a listing of the main company was being considered including its upstream operations, as well as just its downstream refining and petrochemical assets.

Al-Falih said the company was primarily looking at the Saudi exchange for the listing, but would not exclude international listings given the potential size of the company, which has been estimated between $1 trillion and $10 trillion.

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