Saudi Arabia is planning to sell more stakes in state-owned oil producer Saudi Aramco as it looks to raise money to fuel an economic diversification plan, chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan said, Bloomberg reported.
The kingdom, which raised nearly $30 billion last year from Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering in Riyadh, is planning to sell more of its stake in the world’s biggest oil producer, Al-Rumayyan said in an interview with Carlyle Group Inc. co-founder David Rubenstein. Potential future share sales could be held outside Saudi Arabia, he said.
Any international offering of Aramco shares would face significant hurdles. Last year’s IPO in Riyadh was already widely marketed to the world’s largest investors, many of whom passed on the deal because other oil stocks offered better returns. Investors may also question Aramco’s current valuation at a time when crude prices are slumping.
“If we have any good stock exchange that we think can bring some valuable investors to us, we will definitely consider it,” said Al-Rumayyan, who is also governor of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund.
Saudi Aramco has already begun discussions with Wall Street banks to draw up scenarios for a second listing overseas, according to people with knowledge of the matter. It wants to be ready to move if Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, gives the go-ahead to proceed with the plans, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.