Saudi Aramco - thought to be the world's most valuable company - has today confirmed that it is planning to go public.
The state owned oil producer, said to be worth many trillions, has been "studying various options to allow broad public participation in its equity", the firm said. The IPO would take the form of an "appropriate percentage of the company’s shares and/or the listing of a bundle its downstream subsidiaries".
Aramco is still assessing which of the options is most suitable, and the findings will be presented to the board of directors, which will make its recommendations to the Saudi Aramco Supreme Council.
"This proposal is consistent with the broad and progressive direction pursued by the Kingdom for reforms, including privatisation in various sectors of the Saudi economy and deregulation of markets, which the company strongly supports," it said in a statement,
Aramco said the IPO would "strengthen the company's focus on its long term vision of becoming the world’s leading energy and chemical enterprise", including its hydrocarbon resources, and meeting customer demand, alongside stakeholder and environmental commitments.
“Personally I’m enthusiastic about this step,” bin Salman said in his first on-record interview. “I believe it is in the interest of the Saudi market, and it is in the interest of Aramco.”