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Aramco lining up banks as IPO is coming 'very soon': CEO

Abu Dhabi

STATE oil giant Saudi Aramco said it is lining up banks for its long-awaited initial public offering as the sale is now imminent.

Banks will be chosen "soon", chief executive officer Amin Nasser said at an industry conference in Abu Dhabi. Confirmation of the underwriters will signal that the share sale - set to be the world's largest - is finally in the offing after plans were put on hold last year.

"We have always said Aramco is ready for listing whenever the shareholder makes a decision to list," Mr Nasser said on Tuesday. "It's going to be very soon."

Market voices on:

Global investment banks presented a week of pitches starting in late August, people with knowledge of the matter said this month. Saudi Arabian Oil Co, as the company is formally known, is expected to choose about four or five banks to lead the IPO marketing as joint global coordinators, while a larger number will work on the deal in more junior capacities, the people said. BLOOMBERG