Saudi Aramco has approached Asian state oil producers such as Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional (Petronas) and China’s Sinopec Group about potential cornerstone investments in its initial public offering (IPO), reported Bloomberg.
The Kingdom energy giant and its advisers have recently been holding talks with potential investors including China’s sovereign wealth fund and China National Petroleum Corporation. Saudi Aramco also reached out to state-owned entities from the UAE and Kuwait, including Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company as well as Canadian pension funds.
Saudi Aramco’s advisers are arranging meetings with some potential cornerstone investors this week and next week.
Saudi Aramco is leaning on business partners and friendly governments to help achieve its preferred valuation of $2 trillion even after oil prices fell more than 25 per cent over the past year. The company is casting a wide net to attract enough demand as it accelerates preparations for the listing, with an aim of listing on Tadawul as soon as November.
Petronas partnered with Aramco on its $27 billion refinery and petrochemical complex in Malaysia’s southern state of Johor. Saudi Aramco has been deepening its ties in Asia, the world’s top oil-consuming region, with refinery deals to bolster its market share.
Chinese state entities held talks with the company during its original efforts to drum up interest in the listing. Saudi Aramco invited Sinopec Group to invest in March 2017, the company is China’s biggest buyer of Saudi crude.
CNPC, which controls publicly-listed PetroChina Company and sovereign fund China Investment Corporation were also in talks with Saudi Arabia about investing in Saudi Aramco in 2017.