ABU DHABI (Sept 10): Saudi Aramco's chief executive, Amin Nasser, said on Tuesday a domestic IPO of the state oil giant would be the primary listing but that it was also ready for an international offering.
Nasser, speaking to reporters, cited the kingdom's new energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman as saying that an initial public offering would happen "very soon", but added that the ultimate decision on timing and venue rested with the government.
"We have always said that Aramco is ready whenever the shareholder makes a decision to list and as you heard from his Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz yesterday that it is going to be very soon, so we are prepared — that's the bottom line," he said.
Saudi Arabia plans a gradual listing of Aramco on its domestic market, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday, as it moves ahead with the process and finalises the roles banks will play in the offering of the world's biggest oil company.
Nasser welcomed the appointment earlier this month of the head of the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund PIF as Aramco's new chairman, Yasser al-Rumayyan, saying he brings "a lot of riches" to the board with his experience in the financial sector.
Rumayyan took over from former energy minister Khalid al-Falih as chairman in a move to separate Aramco from the ministry, a step Saudi officials have said was important to pave the way for the IPO.
Nasser said that with the appointment of Prince Abdulaziz as energy minister, Aramco would have an "arms-length" relationship with the ministry, which he said would continue to dictate Aramco's maximum sustained capacity and production.