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'Not talking to Chinese or others' about stake sale, says Saudi Aramco CEO

Regarding the IPO process and possible venues for the listing, Nasser said all was still being considered

Reuters  |  Dubai 

Amin Nasser, CEO, Saudi Aramco, at CERA Week petroleum summit, organised by IHS Markit in Delhi
Amin Nasser, CEO, Saudi Aramco, at CERA Week petroleum summit, organised by IHS Markit in Delhi

Aramco's initial public offering will take place in 2018 as planned and the listing venue will be revealed in due course, the company's chief executive said in a CNBC interview broadcast on Monday.

"We have always said that we will be listing in 2018, and to be more specific, in the second half of 2018," CEO said, later adding: "The is on track. The listing venue will be discussed and shared in due course."

is preparing to list about 5 per cent of its shares on local and stock markets. It has yet to choose an overseas market. Nasser rejected a report that China was emerging as a frontrunner in a possible plan to delay the and sell shares to sovereign wealth funds, CNBC said.

"is not talking, as I said, to the Chinese or others," he said.

Regarding the process and possible venues for the listing, Nasser said all was still being considered.

"All of that analysis is being reviewed in detail ... to make a decision at a certain stage, and we're not going to be pushed, you know, by a journalist saying this needs to be talked about or not."

Reuters reported last week that China was offering to buy up to 5 per cent of directly. The Financial Times reported earlier this month that the company was considering shelving plans in favour of a private share sale to world sovereign funds and institutional investors.

Nasser also said will "meet all the requirements of that market in terms of reserve assessment" and other rules of the country where it chooses to list. He said Arabia was largely operating in line with its closest peers, such as Exxon Mobil and BP.

"I can say has always been run like a publicly traded company," he said. "If you look at our governance, we have independent board members. Everything that has been done in the company is similar to any company in terms of the way we do business."

Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said last year the country was considering listing about 5 per cent of in 2018 in a deal that could raise $100 billion if the company is valued at about $2 trillion as hoped.

First Published: Mon, October 23 2017. 18:12 IST
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