Saudi energy minister quashes reports of cancelled $2 trillion Aramco IPO

Saudi Arabia has denied reports it has cancelled plans to float state-run oil giant Saudi Aramco, in what has previously been labelled the biggest ever initial public offering (IPO), estimated at US$2 trillion.

A report emerging from Reuters on Wednesday told how financial advisers working on the plans to sell a 5% stake in Aramco had been disbanded, with the decision made ‘some time ago’, according to senior industry figures.

However, in a conflicting news break Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khalid al-Falih said the government would go ahead with the market flotation, although he provided no indication of the timeframe.

“The government remains committed to the IPO of Saudi Aramco at a time of its own choosing when conditions are optimum,” said al-Falih, who is also chairman of Aramco.

“This timing will depend on multiple factors, including favourable market conditions, and a downstream acquisition which the company will pursue in the next few months, as directed by its board of directors.”

Plans to publicly float Aramco were first put forward in 2016, with exchanges in London, Hong Kong and New York subsequently vying for the international trance of the listing.