Saudi Aramco is considering Tokyo as the international destination to list its shares, according to an exclusive report in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
Saudi Aramco is “considering a plan to split the world’s largest IPO into two stages, offering a portion of its shares on the Saudi stock exchange later this year and following up with an international offering in 2020 or 2021,” according to the WSJ, which added that company leaders are “leaning toward Tokyo as the venue for the second phase of its proposed plan…as political uncertainty in the U.K. and China reduces the appeal of markets in London and Hong Kong.”
Aramco’s IPO is expected to be the world’s largest when it moves forward. Last week, the company made first selections for financial partners in its rejuvenated attempt to file for an initial public offering (IPO), choosing Bermuda-based Lazard Ltd. and Moelis & Co. as advisors.
Over the last year, the company slowly started opening up its books to the outside world. As the WSJ notes, with earnings of $111 billion in 2018, Saudi Aramco is the world’s most profitable business, outstripping juggernauts such as Apple Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp.
In March, Saudi Aramco signed a share purchase agreement to acquire 70% majority stake in SABIC from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia for $69.1 billion.
Earlier this year, Saudi Aramco also debuted its first international bond, with demand topping $100 billion, in what analysts said amounted to a “record breaking vote of market confidence” for the company.