Bloomberg/Christopher Pikeby Kudakwashe Muzoriwa
Saudi Aramco plans to announce the start of its initial public offering (IPO) on 3 November 2019, after delaying the deal earlier this month to give advisers time to secure cornerstone investors, reported Reuters.
Shares in the state-owned energy giant are expected to start trading on the region’s biggest economy stock exchange on 11 December 2019. The Kingdom’s Capital Markets Authority will announce the start of the initial public offering process on Sunday and subscription for shares will start on 4 December 2019.
The oil company’s $111 billion annual net income for 2018 made it the most profitable business on the planet. Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is counting on those earnings and Saudi Arabia’s vast oil reserves—the world’s biggest deposits of conventional crude—to attract investors.
Saudi Arabia is seeking funds to build job-generating industries that it hopes will help wean the economy off of its overwhelming reliance on crude sales.
The government has struggled to persuade investors to accept its estimated $2 trillion valuation for the company, contributing to delays in the IPO. Saudi Aramco also postponed the planned IPO most recently in the wake of the 14 September 2019 attacks on its Abqaiq and Khurais crude-processing facilities.
Production has since recovered from those attacks, which briefly slashed Saudi Aramco’s output by half.
The Kingdom seemed determined to press on with an accelerated schedule even in the face of potential headwinds such as weak oil prices, a slowing world economy and last month’s attack on the company’s biggest processing plant.