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Saudi and Foreign investors stand in front of the logo of Saudi state oil giant Aramco during the 10th Global Competitiveness Forum on January 25, 2016, in the capital Riyadh. Photograph by Fayez Nureldine—AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Aramco Is Targeting 2018 to Hold the World’s Biggest Ever IPO

Oct 11, 2016

Saudi Aramco is targeting 2018 for what could be the world's largest public listing as it expects oil prices and market conditions to improve in the coming years, its chief executive Amin Nasser said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul, Nasser said that all markets were still being considered for the initial public offering (IPO) of up to 5% of Aramco, though the exact size of the offering will be determined by the Saudi Supreme Council.

"We are optimistic that the market started to recover and we expect it to recover even more in 2017 and I think the time in 2018 will be almost right," Nasser said.

"When we talk about 2018 we feel comfortable to be able to meet all the requirements in the different markets if we decide to go to certain markets."

He said Aramco has yet to finalise the location of the listing and is currently reviewing several markets including New York, London, Hong Kong and Japan.

Saudi's Deputy Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, unveiled ambitious plans earlier this year aimed at ending the country's "addiction" to oil and transforming it into a global investment power. The listing of less than 5% of state-run Aramco is a centerpiece of that effort.

Nasser said that Aramco, whose exact size has yet to be publicly disclosed, is ready to share financial information with investors.

"We have a very good governance model and we would be more than happy to share our financials with investors when we go public," he said.

Aramco has increased its oil production to record levels in recent months as oil producing companies vied for global market share in a struggle that has led to a more than halving of oil prices since June 2014.

Although revenues have dropped, Nasser said the company plans to invest $300 billion over the next decade, with the focus on gas.

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