Tuesday 2 July 2019 1:58 pm

Saudi Aramco holds talks to restart IPO plans

Saudi Arabia has restarted plans to float its biggest asset, it has been reported, after the Saudi Aramco IPO was put on hold last year.

The company, which is the world’s most profitable, has discussed a potential initial public offering (IPO) with bankers, according to Bloomberg.

Read more: Saudi Aramco beats records as investors bid $100bn for its bonds

Sources with knowledge of the situation said that more in-depth work may speed up later this year. It could also wait until the early part of 2020.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has insisted that the IPO will happen by 2021.

“I believe late 2020, early 2021,” he said in October.

“The investor will decide the price on the day. I believe it will be above $2 trillion (£1.6 trillion). Because it will be huge.”

The offering, which is expected to reach around $100m, will be the biggest ever when the oil producer hits the market.

The state-run company raised $100bn in April when it debuted on the international bond market.

The raise was a tenfold increase on its stated $10bn target. It set a record, ahead of a $69bn Argentinian government bond in 2016.

One source told Bloomberg that Saudi Aramco will wait until its has completed the acquisition of a $69bn stake in chemicals firm Saudi Basic Industries Corp.

Read more: Saudi Aramco leapfrogs Apple to claim title as world’s most profitable company

Aramco has been at the centre of Saudi efforts to reduce the amount of oil it exports and put upwards pressure on global prices.

Producers’ cartel Opec, where Saudi Arabia is the most influential member, extended output cuts this week.