The initial public offering of Saudi hydrocarbon giant Aramco will depend on oil and stock market conditions, the kingdom’s Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources has been quoted as saying.
Khalid Al-Falih told German newspaper Handelsblatt that the size and complexity of the listing would require “a great deal of internal preparation”.
“The actual IPO timeframe will also be subject to a number of external factors including equity market conditions, oil price outlook, and domestic capital market readiness,” he said, according to the publication.
The interview came after Siemens was awarded a $500m contract to develop gas turbines in Saudi Arabia.
The listing of Aramco is expected to become the world’s largest ever IPO.
The government plans to sell 5 per cent of the company’s shares by the end of 2018, with government officials estimating it could be worth $2-3 trillion.
Al-Falih previously said that the listing of the company would not include oil reserves.
He told reporters in June that Aramco would have to convince investors to maintain an oil surplus to be used in times of crisis.
This has been described as not feasible by some banks are they are unused assets.