Saudi Aramco IPO to be announced ‘very, very soon’, says chairman

Aramco Chairman and PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan seen in this file photo.

RIYADH — The initial public offering (IPO) of Saudi Aramco will be announced “very, very soon,” Aramco Chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan was quoted as saying by Al Arabiya on Monday.

Al-Rumayyan, who is also the governor of the Public Investment Fund — the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund — was speaking at a panel during the Saudi-Russian Forum on Monday, in which Saudi Arabian and Russian officials gathered to discuss key partnerships, as well as global oil markets.

"Aramco's IPO will take place sooner than you think," said Al-Rumayyan, adding, "I think that the announcement will be very, very soon."

Aramco has said it plans to float around five percent of the state-owned company in 2020 or 2021 in what could potentially be the world's biggest stock sale.

His Russian counterpart, Kirill Dimitriev, chief executive officer of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), also attended the event. Both officials held a joint panel discussion on Monday.

The forum is being held this week during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Riyadh, which is his first official visit to the Kingdom since 2007.

The Aramco IPO is a cornerstone of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan, which aims to wean the Saudi economy off its reliance on oil in order to diversify the economy.

It aims to raise up to $100 billion from the IPO of a five percent stake of the company, based on a $2 trillion valuation. This valuation could make it the most valuable company in the world.

Meanwhile, Al-Rumayyan said on Monday that the Kingdom is the biggest foreign investor in Russia, with investments valued at $2.5 billion. — Al Arabiya English