Saudi Arabia mulls selling additional shares in Aramco to raise SR40 billion, Bloomberg reports

Saudi Arabia is considering reviving plans for a follow-on share offering in Saudi Aramco to raise at least SR40 billion ($10 billion) as early as February, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The report follows the Saudi government’s directive on Tuesday to Aramco to halt its oil expansion plan. According to Bloomberg, the multibillion-dollar deal is likely to be among the largest global stock sales in recent years.

The sources, who requested anonymity, said that the Kingdom is working with a group of advisors, and is seeking to raise at least 40 billion ($10 billion) from the sale of shares in the Saudi stock market.

The new sale plans come four years after Saudi Arabia raised about $30 billion in Aramco’s initial public offering (IPO), which was the world’s largest stock sale ever.

The IPO in late 2019 raised $25.6 billion and later selling more shares to raise the total to $29.4 billion.

The Saudi government directly holds a 90.19 percent stake in Aramco, while the sovereign Public Investment Fund (PIF) and PIF subsidiary Sanabil hold four percent each.

According to the Bloomberg report, there is no final decision regarding the timing of the sale of shares and the deal may be delayed.

Aramco is the world’s largest oil exporter, with a market value of just over $2 trillion.

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said in January 2021 that the government would look to sell more shares in the company, with the proceeds transferred to the Saudi Public Investment Fund.

Bloomberg reported in May that these plans gained momentum last year.

The Public Investment Fund (PIF), headed by the Crown Prince, was the largest sovereign wealth fund in terms of spending in the world last year.

It is considered as a major tool for reshaping the Saudi economy. Saudi Aramco Chairman and CEO Yasir Al-Rumayyan is also governor of PIF.

The Ministry of Energy directed Aramco on Tuesday to stop increasing its oil production capacity to 13 million barrels per day, leaving the maximum levels at 12 million instead, which will leave the company with a reserve of three million per day compared to its current production level.






Saudi Gazette report