By Chen Aizu, Reuters
Saudi and Japanese officials will hold meetings to discuss Japanese investment into the planned initial public offering (IPO) of a small part of Riyadh-controlled Saudi Aramco, said Khalid Al-Falih, the kingdom’s energy minister.
Saudi’s Deputy Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, unveiled ambitious plans earlier this year aimed at ending the country’s “addiction” to oil and transforming it into a global investment power. The IPO of less than 5 percent of state-run Aramco is a centrepiece of that effort.
“We have a great relationship with energy companies in Japan and also financial institutions,” Saudi’s Falih said. “I am sure the IPO of Saudi Aramco will receive great participation from the financial industry in Japan.”
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources was speaking on the sidelines of a G20 energy ministers meeting in Beijing.
Investment banks are already jostling to take part in the Aramco listing as a portal to the lucrative deals they expect to flow from the kingdom’s planned economic revamp.
So big is Aramco given its rights to the crude reserves of the world’s top oil exporter, that selling even 1 percent of it would create the world’s biggest IPO, Prince Mohammed has said. He expects the IPO will value Aramco at at least $2 trillion.
Saudi Aramco is now working on the options for its IPO, which include a single domestic stock exchange listing and a dual listing with a foreign market.
The company is finalising its proposals and will present them to its Supreme Council soon, which could see part of Aramco publicly listed by 2017-18, although the timeframe is not set yet, Chief Executive Amin Nasser has told Reuters.