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Saudi finance minister says Aramco IPO to go ahead in 2018

Saudi finance minister says Aramco IPO to go ahead in 2018

Aramco previously said the listing remained “on track” after a report that the company was preparing contingency plans

Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan told bond investors during a presentation on Monday that the initial public offering (IPO) of Saudi state oil giant Aramco will proceed as planned in 2018, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Aramco has previously said the listing remained “on track” after a report that the oil company was preparing contingency plans for a possible delay into 2019.

Saudi Arabia held the global investor call in preparation for a potential third international bond issuance, having issued a $17.5bn international bond last year and a $9bn sukuk in April.

Saudi authorities aim to list up to 5 per cent of the world’s largest oil producer on the stock exchange in Riyadh, the Tadawul, and one or more international markets in an IPO that could raise $100bn.

The listing and bond issuance are both part of a massive economic reform effort to diversify the kingdom’s sources of state revenues amid protracted low oil prices, which have caused large budget deficits.

Saudi Arabia also plans to introduce of a value-added tax (VAT), which Jadaan said the government is ready to implement as scheduled at the start of 2018.

Details of the Citizen’s Account, a household allowance scheme intended to reduce the impact of austerity policies on low and middle-income Saudi families, would be announced in the coming weeks, he said.

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