Saudi Arabia officially launched its initial public offering (IPO) for its state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco on Sunday, announcing that a domestic listing will happen in December.
The kingdom’s market regulator approved the listing early Sunday but exact details surrounding the size and scope of the IPO remain unknown. In a statement from Saudi Aramco, the company said “the final offer price, number of shares to be sold and percentage of the shares to be sold will be determined at the end of the book-building period.”
Amin Nasser, president and chief executive of Saudi Aramco, said in a statement that the company’s vision “is to be the world’s pre-eminent integrated energy and chemicals company. Our mission is to provide our shareholders with long-term value creation through crude oil price cycles by maintaining our pre-eminence in oil and gas production, capturing additional value across the hydrocarbon value chain and profitably growing our portfolio,” he said.
In a follow-up press conference on Sunday, Nasser said the company’s IPO prospectus would be released on November 9 and told CNBC that the listing of Aramco was to help diversify the economy, and was a way to strengthen the domestic Tadawul exchange by attracting both domestic and international investment. “For us, as Saudi Aramco, I think we are proud of the listing of Aramco. It will increase our visibility internationally. We are a very strong company. By sharing a lot of information, as required by any listed company, there will be a lot of analysts that will review our data and compare it with other listed companies, and we would love to have that kind of comparisons, because we are a company that are proud of our results,” he said.
Previous reports have suggested the kingdom will list 1% to 2% of Aramco on its local stock exchange, and then list another slice on an international exchange at a later date — with a total public sale of roughly 5% of the company. Exchanges in New York, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo have all been vying for the international listing.