Saudi Aramco’s stock market floatation is likely to be delayed until next year according to Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Khalid al-Falih.

“Most likely it will be in 2019 but we will not know until the announcement has been made,” he said at a conference in St Petersburg, Russia.

“The timing I think will depend on the readiness of the market, rather than the readiness of the company or the readiness of Saudi Arabia”.

The initial public offering (IPO) is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan, a roadmap to diversify the country’s economy away reliance on hydrocarbons.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud is expecting to raise $100bn by selling a 5 per cent stake in the company.

This would make it the world’s biggest IPO and value the business at $2 trillion.

In March Amin Nasser, the chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco, said that his company was preparing for an IPO in the second half of 2018.