Last week, former Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih was replaced by Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman ahead of a long-awaited launch of an initial public offering (IPO) of the country’s Aramco oil company.
Saudi’s newly appointed energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said Monday that the kingdom is aiming for Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering (IPO) to take place “as soon as possible.”
The company plans to sell up to five percent of the company within the next two years in what has been touted as the biggest IPO in history. The company is holding talks with bank representative and is expected to appoint advisers in the nearest future.
The move to list the world’s largest oil company is prompted by Riyadh’s plan to lessen the kingdom’s dependence on oil and gas revenues. The hope is that revenues from the Aramco listing will help to pay for the kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic development plan, which has already faced several delays.
According to estimates, oil needs to be priced at around $80 per barrel so that Saudi Arabia can balance its budget. Brent crude is currently trading at a little over $60 per barrel, and last month, Aramco posted net income of around $47 billion, a 12 percent decline compared with the same period last year.