Saudi Aramco aims to announce the start of its initial public offering (IPO) on 3 November, three people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
The people also said Aramco’s chief executive officer, Amin Nasser, was not present at the conference on Tuesday as he was meeting investors abroad ahead of the offering.
Aramco is looking to float a 1-2% stake on the kingdom’s Tadawul market, in what would be one of the largest ever public offerings, worth upwards of $20 billion (£15.6 billion).
Aramco, in response to queries by Reuters, said on Tuesday the oil company “does not comment on rumour or speculation. 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 people declined to be identified due to commercial sensitivities.The company will soon have more shareholders from institutions, the head of the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, Yassir al-Rumayyan, said. Al-Rumayyan, governor of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and chairman of Aramco’s board of directors, was speaking at a panel at the conference in Riyadh.
Saudi Aramco earned $68 billion in the first nine months of the year, cementing its position as the world’s most profitable company, according to people familiar with the figures.
When the Saudi company disclosed financial results for the first time earlier this year, showing income of $111 billion for all of 2018, it vaulted to the top of the list of the planet’s highest-earning businesses. Its nine-month income alone exceeded the 2018 net posted by Apple Inc., the most profitable publicly traded company, and is more than the annual earnings of Exxon Mobil Corp., the biggest listed oil firm.