Saudi Aramco’s, valued at roughly $2 trillion, initial public offering will take place next year according to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in an interview. This IPO could be the largest in history and is expected to raise $100 billion
The sale of 5 percent of Aramco in 2018 is the core of Vision 2030, Prince Mohammad’s reform plan to expand the Saudi economy beyond oil. According to Saudi officials both domestic and international exchanges like New York, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong have been considered for a partial listing, although a decision on which exchange still has not been made.
“We are on track in 2018… but the listing (details) are still under discussion,” Prince Mohammad said in an interview on Wednesday. “It will be IPO-ed in 2018.”
Investors question whether Aramco’s valuation is really $2 trillion, a figure stated by Prince Mohammad. But, the prince repeated that Aramco’s estimated valuation would be $2 trillion.
“I know that there has been a lot of argument around this topic but at the end of the day the right say is that of the investor. Undoubtedly the biggest IPO in the world must be accompanied by a lot of rumors,” said Prince Mohammad.
“Aramco would prove itself on the ground on the day of the IPO. Actually when I talked about the valuation, I talk about $2 trillion, it could be more than $2 trillion.”
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The actual timing of the IPO will depend on obtaining both legal and regulatory approval from the jurisdictions it chooses to list in. The price of oil may also influence the timing.
The prince was asked if the conflict with the Gulf OPEC producer Qatar has reduced the investors’ outlook. Prince Mohammed stated, “Qatar is a very, very, very small issue,”.