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Saudi oil firm Aramco could delay IPO after attacks: sources

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Saudi authorities are considering whether to delay an IPO for oil giant Aramco after this weekend's attack on its oil facilities shut down much of its production, people with knowledge of the matter said.

[NEW YORK] Saudi authorities are considering whether to delay an IPO for oil giant Aramco after this weekend's attack on its oil facilities shut down much of its production, people with knowledge of the matter said.

"They're in the process of assessing the damage. It's a possibility but it's still very early," said one of the persons who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Aramco had planned to debut in November on a local stock market before listing on an international one next year, sources had told AFP last week.

The IPO could be the largest ever, with the company's valuation poised to top US$1 trillion.

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The company's plans appeared to have accelerated in recent weeks after it chose JPMorgan to lead the initial public offering, sources said. Goldman Sachs and Bank of America among others are also among the banks involved.

The IPO is part of Riyadh's efforts to diversify its economy away from petroleum.

Huthi rebels backed by Iran, who have been locked in battle with a Saudi-led coalition for years, claimed responsibility for the attacks on Aramco facilities.

The attack shut down about half of Saudi production, or some five per cent of global production, according to Craig Erlam of currency trader Oanda.

No one was injured during the attacks but it remained unclear how soon Saudi Arabia could bring its production capacity back to normal.

AFP