02/ Jul’19

Saudi Arabia’s Aramco relaunches public offering talks

Strong demand driving the rise in oil prices?

PRICE Futures Group’s Phil Flynn on the outlook for oil prices.

Saudi Arabia is reportedly again plotting towards an initial public offering of oil giant Aramco after the effort was put on hold earlier this year.

The nation had previously aimed to offer shares of the company, formally known as Saudi Arabian Oil Co., in 2018 as part of an effort to raise as much as $100 billion to help modernize its economy.

The plans were abandoned when Aramco instead opted to pay $69 billion for a stake in chemical firm Saudi Basic Industries Corp., or Sabic.

Now, the company is restarting talks with investment banks and aiming for a public listing as early as 2020, according to Bloomberg, which cited anonymous sources. Any IPO would not take place until the Sabic acquisition is finished, one source told the news outlet.

An Aramco spokesperson said the firm “continues to engage” with shareholders on IPO readiness.

“The company is ready and timing will depend on market conditions,” they said in an emailed statement.

Among the hurdles facing the offering is the swing in oil prices.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Tuesday extended supply cuts until March 2020, sending prices rising, but the boost was leveled off by ongoing concerns over a slowdown in the global economy.

*The story, originally published on 7/2/19, was updated on 7/8/19 with the statement from Saudi Aramco.