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The slow pace of progress toward an Aramco IPO has fueled speculation that the sale could be delayed beyond 2018.
The slow pace of progress toward an Aramco IPO has fueled speculation that the sale could be delayed beyond 2018.

Goldman, Citi Poised for Big Roles in Aramco IPO

Goldman, Citi Poised for Big Roles in Aramco IPO

Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are poised to take a major role in the sale of a portion of Saudi Arabia's state oil giant, which is expected to be the biggest initial public offering ever, according to multiple reports.
Aramco aims to offer investors a 5% stake in the company this year. The IPO is central to Saudi efforts to create the world's largest sovereign wealth fund and diversify the country's economy, CNBC reported.
Saudi officials have said Aramco could attract a $2 trillion valuation, though others forecast the offering will value the company at $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion. The kingdom aims to raise about $100 billion to underwrite the country's "Vision 2030" economic transformation plan. It also stands to enrich banks that secure a role in a complicated offering for a sprawling enterprise deeply intertwined with Saudi Arabia's state finances.
The slow pace of progress toward an Aramco IPO has fueled speculation that the sale could be delayed beyond 2018. But according to Bloomberg News, Aramco is likely to name Goldman and Citi as lead managers for the offering.
Also on Monday, Reuters reported that the Saudis have invited Goldman and Citi, along with Deutsche Bank, to the kingdom to pitch for a role in the share sale in the coming weeks.
Three other banks that have advised Aramco on the pending share sale—J.P. Morgan Chase, HSBC and Morgan Stanley—are also expected to be global coordinators, according to reports going back to last year.
Aramco and the banks declined to comment on the Bloomberg and Reuters reports. In another recent sign that momentum toward an Aramco IPO is picking up steam, the Saudi government on Friday announced it had changed Aramco's status to a joint-stock company, a move that lets the company issue shares.
Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser told CNBC in October that the Aramco offering remained on track for 2018, despite reports that the kingdom was considering shelving the IPO in favor of a private share sale to the Chinese government and others.
Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil exporter. It has spearheaded an effort among its fellow OPEC members, Russia and several other oil-producing nations to mop up a global glut of crude that has weighed on prices.

 

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