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Aramco's IPO to come 'soon', Saudi energy minister


Press Trust of India Riyadh
A much awaited initial public offering (IPO) of the state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco will come "soon", the Gulf Kingdom's energy minister announced here on Wednesday.
Aramco, which pumps about 10 per cent of the world's crude oil, emerged as the world's most profitable company in 2018.
Speaking at the high-profile Future Investment Initiative (FII) summit in Riyadh, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said that "the IPO will come soon".
"It will come in the right time with the right approach and definitely with the right decision," he told a gathering on the second day of the three-day summit, which is aimed at drawing foreign investors to help the Gulf Kingdom diversify its oil-based economy.
"It will be a Saudi decision, first and foremost. Specifically, Prince Mohammed's decision," he said, referring to powerful crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The forum, dubbed "Davos in the desert", is an initiative of Crown Prince Mohammed, who plans to diversify the Kingdom's economy while reducing its economic dependence on petroleum products under his ambitious vision 2030 plan.
On the first day of the summit on Tuesday which was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 23 business deals worth USD 15 billion were signed.
"These agreements reflect the enormous potential that Saudi Arabia offers to investors from across the Kingdom and around the world," the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) said.
"The agreements reflect the strength and diversity of the economy. Under Saudi Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia is undergoing an ambitious program of economic reform, and the world is taking notice," Governor of SAGIA Ibrahim Al-Omar said.
Saudi Arabia climbed 30 places in the World Bank's Doing Business 2020 report earlier this month.
The three-day forum is hosting financiers, governments, and industry leaders who would discuss global trade and explore the trends, opportunities and challenges shaping the global investment landscape over the coming decades.

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First Published: Oct 30 2019 | 3:35 PM IST

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