Saudi Aramco is still on for listing in 2018 says chief executive, but no update on location

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Amin Nasser is chief executive of Saudi Aramco (Source: Getty)

THE STOCK market flotation of part of state-owned oil behemoth Saudi Aramco is still set for 2018, the Saudi Arabian oil minister said yesterday.

Speaking at an energy forum in Moscow, Aramco chief executive Amin Nasser said: ““Work is ongoing to list Saudi Aramco in 2018.”

“We will be looking at investors as we continue to make progress related to timing and location,” he added, according to Reuters.

Read more: Standard Life Aberdeen chief says Saudi Aramco should come to London

Powerful Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih confirmed the listing will happen “in due course”, despite recent reports it could be delayed.

Yesterday Saudi Aramco also signed a memorandum of understanding with Russian firm Gazprom Neft to deepen collaboration on technology research and development.

The Aramco initial public offering (IPO), announced as part of an ambitious plan to reorient the Saudi economy by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, has a target of a $2 trillion valuation, which would make it the most valuable company in the world.

Read more: Saudi Aramco says IPO is "on track" following reports of delay

The planned listing is being closely followed in London, which has emerged along with New York as a top contender to attract the IPO. A listing in one of the two major financial centres would be accompanied by a listing on the Saudi Tadawul exchange, based in its capital, Riyadh.

However, the move has provoked some opposition in the City, with business groups concerned authorities are trying to loosen disclosure requirements to lure the company.

Last month the Institute of Directors and the Investment Association came out against changes from the Financial Conduct Authority which would see state-owned firms enjoy looser rules. The City of London Corporation supported the move, saying it reflected the “special nature of sovereign entities.”

Read more: City divided on Aramco: City of London Corporation backs FCA rules shake-up