Saudi Aramco to give green light for world’s biggest IPO next week

About 2 per cent of Aramco may be sold, which could raise $40bn

Saudi Aramco’s board is expected to give final approvals to proceed with its mammoth share sale next week, according to people familiar with the matter.

The board is planning to meet with its advisers on the initial public offering around Oct. 17, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. The oil giant will gauge market conditions and assess feedback from a roadshow for potential cornerstone investors that ends this week before giving the final go ahead, the people said.

The IPO is shaping up to be the biggest in history. People involved in the deal say about 2 per cent of Aramco may be sold, which could raise $40bn. The sale is key to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s strategy to fund the diversification of the OPEC nation’s economy.

While Aramco is likely to move ahead with the listing, no final decision has been made and the Saudis could still decide to delay or cancel the IPO, the people said. Aramco officials didn’t immediately respond to an email request for comment.

Upcoming key dates:

Oct. 17 Board meets to make final decision on IPO
Oct. 20 Announcement on intention to float
Oct. 27 Prospectus for offering is published
Nov. 3 Roadshows for investors start, with two-week subscription period
End Nov. Shares begin trading on the Saudi stock market

Note: Dates subject to change and according to people familiar with the matter