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Aramco’s CEO Says Shareholders to Decide on Further Stock Sale

Shareholders in Saudi Aramco will decide whether the world’s largest oil firm will proceed with a new share offering this year, Aramco’s chief executive Amin Nasser said on Monday, as carried by Reuters.

Currently, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia owns just over 98% of Aramco after selling 1.7% in the initial public offering (IPO) in December 2019. Of the 98% held by the Kingdom, the Saudi government owns 90% of Aramco, while the sovereign wealth fund owns the other 8%. 

Reports emerged last month that Saudi Arabia was working with advisers to revive a new sale of stock in state oil giant Aramco, which is the world’s largest oil firm in terms of both market capitalization and oil production.

The Saudis are looking to sell shares in Aramco on the domestic market and look to raise at least $10 billion from the follow-up offering, anonymous sources with knowledge of the plans told Bloomberg at the end of January.

Before the IPO in 2019, Saudi Arabia initially aimed to list Aramco on the Saudi stock exchange, Tadawul, and on one major international market, with London, New York, Tokyo, and Hong Kong all rumored or reported to have been in the race.

But in the end, tepid investor demand and the possibility of exposing the Kingdom to lawsuits—especially with a New York listing—forced the rulers to downsize the Aramco IPO.

Saudi Aramco made its debut on the Saudi Stock Exchange in December 2019 and raised around $30 billion in the share listing which became the largest in history.

Since the IPO, Saudi rulers, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have said on several occasions there would be more Aramco shale sales on Tadawul in the future.  

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The latest share sale plan now reportedly under consideration has the Saudis seeking to raise at least $10.7 billion (40 billion Saudi riyals) from the share sale, according to Bloomberg’s sources.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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