Conflicting Reports on Delay of Saudi Aramco IPO ‘By a Few Months’ as Key Decisions Remain

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Saudi Aramco is “preparing contingency plans for a possible delay” to the initial public offering of its state-owned oil company “by a few months into 2019,” citing people familiar with the matter.

The offering of part of Saudi Aramco is the most visible of the key pieces of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic and social reform plan.

But officials today denied that speculation, according to Reuters. Saudi Aramco’s said its planned initial public offering remains on track, in comments made in response to the Bloomberg report.

“The initial public offering of a stake in Saudi Aramco remains on track,” said Aramco in an email to Reuters. “The IPO process is well under way and Saudi Aramco remains focused on ensuring that all IPO related work is completed to the very highest standards on time.”

However, as the original Bloomberg report notes, several important decisions on the IPO have yet to be taken, stretching the ability of the company and its advisers to sell shares before the end of next year.

Aramco has still not chosen an international venue for the listing, which itself is subject to conflicting reports and speculation. New York and London are seen as leading candidates.

Reuters recently published an online interactive graphic listing “Aramco’s Suitors” highlighting the international indices that are looking to be the home of the soon-to-be world’s largest IPO.