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Saudi crude exporter Aramco to IPO as soon as next year

Dubai

SAUDI Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said that Aramco will go through with an initial public offering (IPO) as soon as next year, though no decision has been made on where the stock will trade.

The world's top crude exporter aims to offer Aramco stock on its domestic exchange and at least one international bourse, with the prince projecting the company's value at about US$2 trillion. Aramco's financial performance, revealed in April, indicated a valuation closer to US$1.2 trillion if investors judge it by the same metrics as other giant oil companies.

"We are committed to the Aramco IPO, given the proper circumstances and the right time," the crown prince said in an interview with Asharq Al Awsat newspaper published on Sunday. "It will happen between 2020 and early 2021, and setting the location of the IPO now is premature."

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Selling stock in New York, London or an Asian exchange - some of the speculated options - could tap a broader investor base. The IPO underpins plans to transform the kingdom's economy by developing new industries, boosting employment and bringing in foreign investment.

Such programmes, collectively known as Vision 2030, are progressing and enjoy popular support. BLOOMBERG