Aramco CEO Says Size of Share Offering Is Still to Be Decided

  • Saudi state oil giant still considering where to list abroad
  • Aramco initial public offering could be world’s largest IPO

Amin Nasser, chief executive officer and president of Saudi Arabian Oil Co.

Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is still waiting for a decision on how many of its shares will be offered to the public, or where the listing will be made outside of the kingdom, according to Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser.

The shares will definitely be listed in Saudi Arabia’s market known as Tadawul, Nasser told reporters Monday at a conference in Abu Dhabi. The U.K., Hong Kong and U.S. are competing for the international listing.

“We are ready for all different stock exchanges, we are prepared and ready,” Nasser said. “There’s definitely going to be a listing on Tadawul.” The decision on how much to list is being reviewed, he said.

The Saudi Aramco initial public offering could be the world’s largest, with the Saudi government initially hoping to raise $100 billion selling about 5 percent of the company. It is the centerpiece of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s reform plan, intended to diversify the kingdom’s economy and invest more heavily in infrastructure. Even if Aramco raises $50 billion, it would still be double the current largest IPO, the $25 billion raised by China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in 2014.

Aramco plans to invest close to $300 billion, mostly on upstream oil and gas projects, in the next 10 years, both in and out of Saudi Arabia, Nasser said. The company will expand refining capacity from 5 million barrels a day to 8 to 10 million barrels, he said, without giving a timeframe. Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., the U.A.E. state oil producer, is also expanding refining capacity, by at least 60 percent, Chief Executive Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said at the same conference.

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