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Finally…. Saudi’s Aramco says it is proceeding on much awaited IPO

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has just put steam on its intention of diversification. The Kingdom plans to diversify from oil to other sectors having reaped all the benefits there is to real from the resource.

Earlier today news broke that the Saudi energy giant Aramco is ready for a two-stage IPO but the timing is up to the government, its chief executive said Tuesday, flagging a possible foreign listing as part of the offering.

Aramco is “ready” for the giant stock market debut but the timing is a “government decision”, Amin Nasser told reporters on the sidelines of the World Energy Congress.

“One of the primary listings is going to be local but we are also ready for listing outside.”

Nasser’s remark came after the Wall Street Journal reported last week that Aramco was considering a domestic debut and a subsequent international listing — possibly in Tokyo.

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.

The planned IPO forms the cornerstone of a reform programme envisaged by the kingdom’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to wean the Saudi economy off its reliance on oil.

It aims to raise up to $100 billion based on a $2 trillion valuation of the company, but investors have long debated whether Aramco is really worth that much.

On Sunday, King Salman promoted one of his sons, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, to the pivotal role of energy minister, replacing veteran official Khalid al-Falih, as the top crude exporter accelerates preparations for the much-anticipated IPO.

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