Potential Aramco-Sabic share deal could impact IPO timing

23 July 2018
CEO says investing in petrochemical company would make the Saudi oil giant less vulnerable to oil prices

Saudi Aramco’s potential acquisition of a stake in petrochemicals producer Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) would affect the timeframe of its own planned initial public offering (IPO), Aramco’s CEO Amin Nasser has told a television network.

Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television cited Nasser as saying that buying a stake in a petrochemicals company would make the state oil giant less vulnerable to oil price volatility.

“If the deal is completed, with relevant regulations taken into account, it will definitely affect the time frame for the partial IPO of Saudi Aramco,” he has been quoted as saying.

Aramco on 19 July confirmed it was interested in acquiring a stake in Sabic, and is in preliminary discussions with the government’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) that owns 70 per cent of the company, which is the world’s fourth largest petrochemicals company.

The Aramco statement came a day after Reuters reported the move.

When Aramco is ready to list, the IPO timing would be up to the government to decide, Nasser said.

“As I said in previous interviews, when Saudi Aramco is ready, the decision of going ahead with the IPO is for the state to make,” he said.

The IPO has already been delayed from the second half of this year to next year, and uncertainty remains about which international market Aramco would select for the foreign stock listing of the company.

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