Home >Companies >News >Aramco may begin planned IPO on 3 Nov

Saudi Aramco aims to announce the start of its initial public offering (IPO) on 3 November, three people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters, after delaying the deal earlier this month to give advisers time to secure cornerstone investors.

The people also said Aramco’s chief executive officer, Amin Nasser, was not present at the conference on Tuesday as he was meeting investors abroad ahead of the offering.

Aramco is looking to float a 1-2% stake on the kingdom’s Tadawul market, in what would be one of the largest ever public offerings, worth upwards of $20 billion (£15.6 billion).

Aramco, in response to queries by Reuters, said on Tuesday the oil company “does not comment on rumour or speculation. The company continues to engage with the shareholders on IPO readiness activities. The company is ready and timing will depend on market conditions and be at a time of the shareholders’ choosing." The people declined to be identified due to commercial sensitivities.

The company will soon have more shareholders from institutions, the head of the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, Yassir al-Rumayyan, said.

Al-Rumayyan, governor of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and chairman of Aramco’s board of directors, was speaking at a panel at the conference in Riyadh.

Aramco will start subscription for investors in its initial public offering on 4 December, Saudi-owned news channel Al-Arabiya said in a news flash on Tuesday citing people familiar with the matter.

The oil giant plans to announce the transaction’s price on 17 November, it added. The company will begin trading on the local stock market, the Tadawul, on 11 December, the broadcaster reported. Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), is working on a consortium of investors for Aramco’s IPO, its chief executive said.

Saudi Aramco earned $68 billion in the first nine months of the year, cementing its position as the world’s most profitable company, according to people familiar with the figures.

The state-owned oil producer disclosed the unaudited net figure to financial analysts working on its planned initial public offering, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Aramco has not published comparative numbers for the same period last year and its media office declined to comment.

When the Saudi company disclosed financial results for the first time earlier this year, showing income of $111 billion for all of 2018, it vaulted to the top of the list of the planet’s highest-earning businesses. Its nine-month income alone exceeded the 2018 net posted by Apple Inc., the most profitable publicly traded company, and is more than the annual earnings of Exxon Mobil Corp., the biggest listed oil firm.

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