Announcement of New IPO Date for Saudi Aramco IPO Creates Buzz on FII’s Opening Day

Saudi Aramco’s long-planned IPO will see its first shares traded on Riyadh’s stock exchange in December, several news outlets are reporting, citing the Saudi-owned satellite news channel Al Arabiya.

Amin Nasser, CEO of Saudi Aramco.

Amin Nasser, CEO of Saudi Aramco.

Al Arabiya said a final price for the stock will be set Dec. 4, with shares then beginning to be traded on the Tadawul stock market on Dec. 11. It added that the Saudi Capital Markets Authority will make a formal announcement about the IPO plans on Sunday. Pricing will begin Nov. 17, it said. The report from Al Arabiya comes as Reuters reports that the Kingdom “aims to announce the start of its initial public offering (IPO) on Nov. 3,” citing three sources.

The news of movement forward on the long-awaited IPO was the reason why Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser was not present on the first day of the Future Investment Initiative, which kicked off today in Riyadh, according to Reuters. Nasser was “meeting investors abroad” ahead of the IPO.

Aramco is looking to float a 1% to 2% stake on the kingdom’s Tadawul market, in what would be one of the largest ever public offerings, worth upwards of $20 billion.

According to ABC News via the Associated Press, the Al-Arabiya report “offered a crackle of life to the Future Investment Initiative in the kingdom’s capital of Riyadh, an event created by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”

Meanwhile, an exclusive report in Energy Intelligence said that Saudi Arabia’s political leadership has been showing “greater flexibility around the planned initial public offering (IPO) of shares in Saudi Aramco, including the valuation of the company and the listing process,” citing sources familiar with the IPO preparations. The sources said the Saudis’ current objective is to “raise $100 billion through the IPO process, even if that means ultimately selling up to 10% of the company to outside investors,” the outlet reported today.