Aramco Names Wealth Fund Secretary General to Board in IPO Push

  • Yasir Al-Rumayyan, also Royal Court adviser, appointed in July
  • Saudi government will move most Aramco ownership to fund

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. named to its board the secretary general of the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, which will become the majority owner of the state energy producer after Aramco’s planned share sale, a move also expected to turn it into the largest such fund in the world.

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the secretary general of the Public Investments Fund and an adviser to the Saudi Royal Court, was appointed a member of the board of Saudi Aramco, according to the company’s website. Al-Rumayyan was appointed in July, and Mohammed al-Suwaiyel, minister of telecommunication, has left the board, according to a company official, who asked not to be identified citing policy.

The Saudi government plans to sell less than 5 percent of Aramco shares to the public by the end of 2018, a move that will make it the largest listed company in the world. After the initial public offering, the rest of Aramco’s ownership will move to the sovereign wealth fund, making it the world’s biggest, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said in April.

“The appointment of Al-Rumayyan to the board confirms the seriousness of the government about the Aramco IPO under which PIF will play the leading role,” Mohamed Ramady, a London-based independent analyst and former professor of economics at King Fahad University for Petroleum and Minerals, said by phone.

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