Saudi Arabia plans to list 1% of the shares in state oil company Saudi Aramco on the Riyadh stock exchange before the end of this year, with another 1% to follow in 2020, according to a Reuters report quoting sources familiar with the matter. The remaining 3% of the previously announced 5% offering would be listed on an as-yet undecided overseas exchange in 2020–21.
Saudi officials have yet to confirm plans for an early listing, but both newly appointed energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, half-brother to Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman; and Aramco CEO Amin Nasser have said this week that the IPO of Aramco shares would happen “very soon.”
Reuters says that Aramco has hired nine banks as joint global coordinators for the IPO, which is expected to be the world’s largest-ever public share offering. Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman has targeted a $2-trillion valuation for Aramco, with the complete IPO expected to raise $100 billion, but most analysts put the value of the company at about $1.5 trillion. In this case, the initial offering on Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange would raise about $15 billion.
According to Reuters, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, HSBC, and two Saudi banks, National Commercial Bank and Samba Financial Group, will lead the IPO. None of these of institutions has confirmed their involvement in the operation.
In an effort to woo prospective investors wary of taking a stake in the world’s biggest oil and gas company, Nasser told the World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi this week that oil and gas will remain at the heart of the global energy mix for decades and that Aramco is taking major steps to mitigate climate change. He noted that the company’s upstream carbon intensity is one of the world’s lowest, at about 10 kilograms of CO2 per barrel of oil equivalent, and based on third-party verification, its methane intensity in 2018 was 0.06%—one of the lowest in the industry.
Nasser added that Aramco was also investing in technologies to make automotive engines more efficient, to use hydrogen as a fuel in automotive and other applications, to convert more crude to chemicals, and to capture CO2 for oilfield reinjection.
By Natasha Alperowicz
Source: Chemical Week
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