Saudi Crown Prince approves kick-off of Aramco IPO on Sunday: sources

Saudi Crown Prince approves kick-off of Aramco IPO on Sunday: sources

FILE PHOTO: A view shows branded oil tanks at Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

DUBAI/RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Friday agreed that the initial public offering of state oil giant Aramco will be announced on Sunday, five sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The world’s top oil company will announce its intention to float (ITF) on Nov. 3, the sources said.

“The crown prince finally gave the green light,” one source said.

Aramco declined to comment.

Saudi Aramco officials and advisers have held last-minute meetings with investors over the past few days in an attempt to achieve as close to a $2 trillion valuation as possible ahead of an expected listing launch on Sunday, according to sources.

The final meeting by the Saudi government on Friday evening was to decide whether to go ahead with the listing.

To achieve $2 trillion, in the largest IPO in history, Riyadh needs the initial listing of a 1%-2% stake on the Saudi stock market to raise at least $20 billion-$40 billion.

The listing is the centerpiece of the crown prince’s plan to shake up the Saudi economy and diversify away from oil. But there have been various delays since it was first announced in 2016.

Prince Mohammed wants to eventually list a total of 5% of the company. An international sale is expected to follow the domestic IPO.

Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh and Marwa Rashad and Rania El Gamal; Editing by Chris Reese and Sonya Hepinstall

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