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Saudi Aramco, The World's Most Profitable Oil Company, To Launch IPO

Neer Varshney

Saudi Arabian Oil Company, better known as Saudi Aramco, announced its initial public offering on Sunday.

What Happened

The world’s most profitable company — owned by the Saudi government — will list on Riyadh’s Stock Exchange, Tawadul.

The IPO plans have been approved by the country’s Capital Market Authority, which regulates the stock exchange.

Twenty seven banks, including Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C), Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS), HSBC Holdings plc (LON: HSBA), JPMorgan Chase & Co.(NYSE: JPM), and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), are working on the IPO, according to Reuters.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been seeking to diversify its economy beyond oil, under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Prince Mohammad first proposed to take Aramco public in 2016, but the IPO kept getting delayed over the years.

Aramco’s first-ever international bond sale in April saw massive interest from investors. The oil giant received orders worth more than $100 billion for the $12 billion bonds it ultimately issued.

A drone attack on its oil-processing facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia on Sept. 14 halved the company’s supply temporarily, crashing the global financial market, according to CNBC.

What's Next

The Saudi government valued Aramco at $2 trillion, but independent analysts are putting wider guesses, Reuters reports.

Leading banks surveyed by Bloomberg put the oil company’s value between $1 trillion and $2.3 trillion.

Aramco is looking to sell one to two percent of its shares, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. This would put the oil company’s IPO’s value estimates between $10 billion to $46 billion.

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