Aramco delays planned IPO until post-earnings update

Saudi Aramco has delayed the planned launch of its initial public offering in hopes pending third-quarter results will raise investor confidence in the world’s largest oil firm, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Aramco had been expected to announce plans this week to float a 1% to 2% stake on the kingdom’s Tadawul market, in what would have been one of the largest-ever public offerings, worth upwards of $20 billion, Kallanish Energy reports.

However, after a Sept. 14 attack on its Abqaiq and Khurais plants temporarily knocked out half its crude output, the world’s top exporter wants to reassure investors by first presenting results covering the period, the two sources told Reuters.

“They want to do all that they can to hit the valuation target. Solid results after the attack will put them in a stronger position,” said one of the sources.

The second source confirmed the offering had been postponed, and there was currently no new date set for the listing. Neither source knew when third quarter results were likely to be released, Reuters said.

In a statement to Reuters, Saudi Aramco said: “The company continues to engage with the shareholders on IPO readiness activities. The company is ready and timing will depend on market conditions and be at a time of the shareholders’ choosing.”

The prospect of Aramco selling a piece of itself has had Wall Street’s attention since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman first announced it three years ago.

This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.