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Aramco Set To Approve World’s Largest IPO Next Week

The board of directors of Saudi Aramco could give the final approval to what would be the world’s largest initial public offering (IPO) ever as soon as next week, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people with knowledge of the plans.

Aramco’s board has tentatively planned a meeting with the advisers to the listing around October 17 to review market conditions and feedback from a roadshow ending this week for seeking interest from possible anchor investors in the IPO, before approving the share sale, Bloomberg’s sources said. Yet, Aramco hasn’t made any final decision and it could still postpone or scrap those plans, according to the sources.

Aramco is also reportedly rushing investment banks to draft the pre-IPO reports on the company in time for October 20, when the Saudi oil giant is reportedly planning to officially announce its intention to list shares on the stock market, according to an internal schedule Bloomberg has seen.

Over the past two months, Aramco has noticeably accelerated the timeline for the much-hyped listing. A US$2-trillion valuation that the Saudis seek has been one of the sticking points—together with the international venue for the listing and concerns over transparency of Saudi reserves—in the IPO that has been delayed several times already.

Amid reports that Saudi Arabia has moved to speed up the listing of Aramco and amid conflicting reports about the impact of the attacks on Saudi oil on what would be the world’s largest IPO ever, one of the latest reports coming out of the Kingdom had it that Aramco is set to announce as soon as October its intention to proceed with the IPO.

Aramco will officially announce its intention to sell shares on the stock market at some point around October 20, people familiar with the planning told Bloomberg at the end of September.

Saudi Aramco will issue the prospectus for its initial public offering before this month’s end, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week, citing people familiar with the preparations for the biggest IPO in history.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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