Saudi Arabia denies reports the $2 trillion Aramco float has been cancelled

James Booth
A trail of smoke extends in the wind fro
Saudi Arabia denies mammoth float has been cancelled (Source: Getty)

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister today denied reports that plans to float part of its state oil and gas company Aramco had been cancelled.

“The government remains committed to the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, in accordance with the appropriate circumstances and appropriate time chosen by the government”, Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said in a statement.

Yesterday Reuters reported that four senior industry sources had said that the record-breaking float had been called off.

Read more: Saudi Arabia pulls the plug on Aramco float

The state-owned oil firm was aiming for a $2 trillion (£1.55 trillion) pricing or higher.

According to Reuters Saudi Arabia had instead turned its head towards acquiring a “strategic stake” in local petrochemicals manufacturer Saudi Basic Industries, they added.

Plans to sell an approximate five per cent stake in Aramco were announced by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in 2016, billed as a central cog in the kingdom’s economic modernisation drive.

Exchanges in London and New York had been angling for the international tranche of the listing.

Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and HSBC were reported to be working as global coordinators, while boutique investment banks Moelis & Co and Evercore had been chosen as independent advisers. White & Case had been selected as a legal adviser, according to reports.

Read more: Tesla boss says Saudis want to support buyback

One financial adviser told Reuters the listing has been called off “for the foreseeable future”, with even the local float being shelved. Another, however, said the advisers have merely been “put on standby”.

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