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Friday 18 October 2019

Aramco Delays Planned IPO


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DUBAI/RIYADH (Reuters) — Saudi Aramco has delayed the planned launch of its initial public offering (IPO) in hopes that pending third-quarter results will bolster investor confidence in the world’s largest oil firm, two sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Aramco had been expected to announce plans next week to float a 1% to 2% stake on the kingdom’s Tadawul market, in what would have been one of the largest ever public offerings, worth upwards of $20 bln.

However, after a September 14 attack on its Abqaiq and Khurais plants temporarily knocked out half its crude output, the world’s top exporter wants to reassure investors by first presenting results covering the period, the two sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the information is not public.

“They want to do all that they can to hit the valuation target. Solid results after the attack will put them in a stronger position”, said one of the sources.

The second source confirmed the offering had been postponed, and there was currently no new date set for the listing. Neither source knew when third quarter results were likely to come out.

In a statement to Reuters on Friday, Saudi Aramco said:

The company continues to engage with the shareholders on IPO readiness activities. The company is ready and timing will depend on market conditions and be at a time of the shareholders’ choosing.

The news comes after Reuters, citing sources familiar with the IPO, reported on September 24 that the offering was unlikely to happen this year in light of the attacks.

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