UK officials told that Aramco IPO unlikely until 2019: FT

(Reuters) – British officials have been informed by their Saudi counterparts that oil giant Saudi Aramco’s IPO-ARMO.SE initial public offering is likely to be delayed until 2019, the Financial Times reported.

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Saudi Aramco is seen at the 20th Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference (MOES 2017) in Manama, Bahrain, March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/File Photo

The Saudi government had targeted a market listing by the second half of 2018, but preparedness for the offering and also willingness for a simultaneous or sequential flotation on a foreign exchange had been questioned, the FT reported, citing sources.

London still had a good chance to secure the listing, which would value the company at $2 trillion, but a foreign flotation would likely happen only in 2019 at the earliest, according to the FT.

Saudi Aarabia’ oil minister and chairman of Saudi Aramco Khalid A. Al-Falih arrives as Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman meets Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May in Downing Street in London, March 7, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

New York and London have been front-runners to host the company’s international flotation, alongside a Riyadh listing.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said in an interview with CNN last week that he was concerned about the risks that Aramco would run into by choosing New York as the venue for its $100 billion market listing.

The state-run oil company is expected to sell about 5 percent of Aramco in what would likely be the world’s biggest IPO.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co, known as Saudi Aramco, was not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney

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PRESS DIGEST- Financial Times – March 12