Saudi Aramco delays planned IPO until after earnings update, seeks local listing

Saudi Aramco has delayed the planned launch of its initial public offering “in hopes that pending third-quarter results will bolster investor confidence in the world’s largest oil firm,” Reuters reports, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

The slight delay allows Saudi Aramco to reassure investors by first presenting results covering the period in which two of its key oil facilities were attacked in Saudi Arabia, the two sources said. “They want to do all that they can to hit the valuation target. Solid results after the attack will put them in a stronger position,” said one of the sources.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The current plan for the company is to list 1%-2% of its shares locally on the Riyadh-based Tadawul stock market, and then possibly list more of the company on an international exchange.

The Kingdom is keen on seeing its company reach a top valuation of $2 billion.

According to another Reuters report which cited two bankers and a potential investor, a government committee has met in the past few months with dozens of wealthy Saudi individuals to secure pre-sale agreements.

Securing local interest, especially from wealthy Saudis with money abroad, could help the company reach their targeted valuation, according to reports.