Saudi Aramco considers IPO issue
Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company, Saudi Aramco has announced its plan to sell its shares in initial public offering (IPO).
The company said in a statement: "Saudi Aramco confirms that it has been studying various options to allow broad public participation in its equity through the listing in the capital markets of an appropriate percentage of the Company's shares and/or the listing of a bundle of its downstream subsidiaries.
"Saudi Aramco would like to emphasize that this process will strengthen the Company's focus on its long term vision of becoming the world's leading energy and chemical enterprise."
After studying various options, the state-run company would present the results to the board of directors for making its recommendation to the Saudi Aramco Supreme Council.
The proposal for an IPO complies with the country's direction for reforms, including privatization of various sectors of the Saudi economy and deregulation of markets.
Saudi Aramco said that the IPO would strengthen its focus on becoming a long-term leader in the global energy and chemical sector.
JPMorgan and HSBC are possible companies to win a role in the IPO process, reported Bloomberg.
Recently, the Saudi Finance Ministry reported that 2015 oil revenues were expected around $118bn, which represents a decline of 23% when compared to 2014 level.
United Press International reported the Saudi Finance Ministry as saying: "This budget also comes amid challenging international and regional economic and financial conditions, namely a global economic slowdown in growth."
Meanwhile, the government is also considering a set of policies and structural reforms in order to reduce the dependency on oil.
Saudi Arabia has 265bn barrels of oil reserve which is more than 15% of the global reserves, but following the drop in prices, the oil rich country is facing about $100bn deficit.
Image: Saudi Aramco is reviewing potential sale of some of its shares as part of a broader government reform effort. Photo courtesy of suwatpo/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net.