Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister said that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will determine the timing of Saudi Aramco’s long-anticipated initial public offering (IPO), reported Reuters.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the Saudi Energy Minister, said that the IPO will happen soon and at the right time, adding that the timing will be a Saudi decision, first and foremost.
Saudi Arabia is seeking to conclude the IPO by the end of the year. Crown Prince Mohammed is counting on Saudi Aramco’s profit and the nation’s vast oil reserves to attract investors to the share sale, which in turn will help fund his plan to overhaul the Kingdom’s economy and make it less reliant on crude exports.
Saudi Aramco earned $68 billion in the first nine months of the year, cementing its position as the world’s most profitable company. Even so, Saudi Arabia has struggled to persuade investors to accept their valuation of $2 trillion or more.
The IPO process will begin on 3 November 2019 and shares of Saudi Aramco will start trading on Tadawul on 11 December 2019. The state-owned energy giant pledged to pay a dividend of at least $75 billion in 2020.
Saudi Arabia is trying to become more efficient in its use of energy, said Prince Abdulaziz. The government has revised projections of Saudi energy demand and now expects domestic price reforms to temper local consumption.
“The Kingdom has taken bold steps in energy price reforms starting in 2016 by changing prices of all key energy products, we believe that these efforts combined will reduce Saudi Arabia’s local demand by as much as two million barrels of oil equivalent by 2030 compared to the previous projections,” said Prince Abdulaziz.
Saudi Arabia is developing technologies to capture and store carbon dioxide as part of a circular approach to limiting emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, added Prince Abdulaziz. The oil company is also pushing into renewables, notably solar power and is well endowed with minerals that could help improve batteries that store energy produced from the sun.