Saudi Arabia is refuting a Reuters report yesterday that said the Kingdom was cancelling its planned IPO for Saudi Aramco, according to comments made by the Kingdom’s minister of energy Khalid Al-Falih.
“The Government remains committed to the IPO of Saudi Aramco at a time of its own choosing when conditions are optimum,” Al-Falih said.
“This timing will depend on multiple factors, including favorable market conditions, and a downstream acquisition which the Company will pursue in the next few months,” Al-Falih said, according to CNBC.
The original Reuters report of the cancellation cited four senior industry sources, but did not name them. That report said that financial advisers working on the planned listing “have been disbanded.”
The IPO has long been referred to in media outlets as the “centerpiece” of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic and social transformation plans. Saudi Arabia hoped to secure a valuation of $2 trillion for Aramco, but have struggled to get outside analysts to agree.
As CNBC notes, Saudi Arabia can afford to be patient for any IPO of Saudi Aramco because oil prices have rebounded from 2015 lows, substantially reducing pressure on the Kingdom’s government finances.