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Saudi Aramco is seeking by the end of 2017 proposals from banks willing to be global coordinators and bookrunners of the highly anticipated initial public offering (IPO) of Saudi Arabia’s state oil giant slated for next year, Reuters reported on Wednesday, quoting sources close to the plans.
The front-runners for global coordinators are the banks that are already working as advisers to what would be the world’s biggest IPO ever—JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and HSBC—but a few other banks might join the roster, according to Reuters’ sources.
It is yet unclear how many banks will be given mandates for bookrunner and/or global coordinator roles, the sources added.
In March this year, Reuters reported that Aramco had formally appointed JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and HSBC to be international financial advisers for the IPO. The three banks joined Moelis & Co and Evercore who had already been given roles as independent financial advisers.
This summer Goldman Sachs was said to have bought in the secondary market part of Saudi Aramco’s US$10-billion revolving credit facility as the U.S. investment bank vies for a role in the oil giant’s IPO.
Goldman and Citi are among the many banks seeking a role in Aramco’s IPO, Reuters’ sources said today.
Saudi officials have claimed that Aramco’s value is US$2 trillion, although analysts value the Kingdom’s oil giant at much less, with the majority putting the valuation at between US$1 trillion and US$1.5 trillion.
In a US$2-trillion valuation, listing 5 percent of Aramco—as the plan is—could fetch US$100 billion for a Saudi Arabia that has made that IPO the centerpiece of its Vision 2030 strategy to reform its economy and diversify away from oil.
Saudi officials plan to list Aramco on the domestic stock market in Riyadh and possibly on one or more international markets, with New York, London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong named as potential venues. Most recently, it seems that the battle will be between London and New York.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.