At long last: Saudi Aramco announces domestic IPO date

Saudi Aramco has announced a date for its long-awaited initial public offering (IPO) on Saudi Arabia’s domestic exchange, in what could be the world’s largest ever public float.

The oil giant and world’s most profitable business will list up to 3% of the company on the Tadawul exchange in December, with an international flotation also potentially in the pipeline at a later date.

The recent $1.5 trillion evaluation of state-run Aramco by independent investors is below the $2 trillion anticipated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman when he first proposed the idea of an IPO four years ago.

However, a 2% sale would bring in as much as $40 billion to the Saudi government, which would help drive Prince Salman’s ambitious economic reform strategy that aims to lesson the kingdom’s reliance on oil revenues.

“Today is the right opportunity for new investors to reap the benefits of Aramco’s ability to achieve value, and boost it on the long-term,” said Aramco chairman Yasir al-Rumayyan at a news conference at the company’s headquarters in the city of Dhahran.

Aramco will issue an IPO prospectus on November 9th and take part in an investor roadshow for the follow two weeks, after which a final valuation for the company will be determined.