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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Saudi Arabia Planning to Sell 49% of Aramco, Eqtisadiah Says

Saudi Arabia Planning to Sell 49% of Aramco, Eqtisadiah Says

  • Initial public offering of 5% stake has been planned by 2018
  • Aramco CEO said in October all of business will be in IPO
Saudi Arabia is planning to sell almost half of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest oil company, al-Eqtisadiah reported.
A 49 percent stake will be sold within 10 years, according to the Riyadh-based newspaper, which cites an unidentified senior government official. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in April that an initial public offering is planned for 2018, or even a year earlier, with the country planning to sell less than 5 percent.
Saudi Arabia, under pressure from lower crude prices, has been planning the share sale as part of an effort to generate revenue and reform its economy. The government hopes to raise about $100 billion from the IPO of its flagship asset. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund will use the proceeds, and eventually control more than $2 trillion and help wean the kingdom off oil.
“Going from 5 to 49 percent is a huge jump but if you do it gradually over 10 years and in small chunks it is possible,” John Sfakianakis, head of economics research at the Gulf Research Center in Riyadh, said by phone on Saturday. “The Saudis are looking at their sources of revenue beyond 10 years and they are asking what should we do more to diversify our non-oil income.”

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