Saudi Daily Retracts Aramco Sale Claim

Saudi Daily Retracts Aramco Sale Claim

The Riyadh-based newspaper al-Eqtisadiah retracted a story saying Saudi Arabia is planning to sell almost half of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest oil company known as Aramco.
The stake that the government plans to sell and the time frame of the sale are different than what was mentioned in the story published on Saturday, al-Eqtisadiah said in a statement published Sunday, Bloomberg reported.
The story, which cited an unidentified government official, contained a number of other errors, the newspaper said. “Al-Eqtisadiah apologizes to its readers, and wishes that all media outlets that cited the story to publish this apology and clarification,” the newspaper said.
The newspaper had reported that the government would sell close to half of the state-owned enterprise during the next 10 years. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in April that an initial public offering is planned for 2018, or even a year earlier, with the country planning to sell less than 5%.
The kingdom is looking to diversify its oil-dependent economy and has already announced cutbacks after its 2015 deficit snowballed to $97 billion.
Aramco will next year begin publishing quarterly results in a bid to attract potential investors, Aramco chief Amin Nasser has said.


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