Saudi Aramco IPO likely to be delayed until 2019

Saudi Aramco news
A Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Aramco) logo sits on an electronic display at the company's corporate pavilion during the 22nd World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. Photographer: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

Saudi Aramco’s floatation on the stock market could be delayed until 2019, according to a news report.

The Financial Times reports that British officials have been told that the initial public offering (IPO), which likely be the biggest in history, is not likely to go ahead this year as planned.

Saudi Arabia is looking to sell off five per cent of the state-funded oil firm, the largest oil producing company on the planet, in order to diversify the economy in the Kingdom.

The newspaper said preparedness for the offering and also willingness for a simultaneous or sequential flotation on a foreign exchange had been questioned.

London still has a good chance of securing the listing, according to the FT, which Riyadh says could value the firm at $2trillion.

New York and London have been the front-runners to host an international flotation, alongside a listing in Riyadh.

A spokesperson for Saudi Aramco said: “Saudi Aramco continue to review options for the listing. In addition to listing on Tadawul – the home exchange, a range of international options are being held under active review. Appropriate decisions will be made in due course.”

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said in an interview with CNN last week that he was concerned about the risks of the firm being listed on the New York stock exchange.