Saudi Aramco Public Listing May Be Delayed Until 2019

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But Saudi and Aramco officials, as well as their legions of advisers, have had to grapple with a host of issues. Mr. bin Salman has also overseen a very public anti-corruption campaign in which scores of fellow royals were detained. The country has also taken an active military role in Yemen’s civil war.

How a listing would be structured also remains under discussion. The current plan is to have Aramco trade on both the kingdom’s Tadawul stock exchange and a major foreign stock market, which would provide both prestige and the deep amount of investor money needed to support a multibillion-dollar listing.

The New York Stock Exchange, the London Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange are among the front-runners to capture the foreign market listing. But while some Saudi officials — reportedly including Mr. bin Salman himself — favor the New York exchange, others involved in the process have said that a presence in the United States could expose the kingdom to lawsuits.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television last week, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, hinted that an Aramco offering would probably come next year, asserting that the timeline would make little difference.

“Between Dec. 31st and Jan. 1st, there is no value lost for the kingdom,” Mr. al-Falih said. “So I don’t see this artificial deadline that you refer to as being significant.”

The Financial Times reported earlier that Saudi officials told their British counterparts last week that a delay to 2019 was likely.

Representatives for Aramco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Aramco itself has worked to prepare itself for a listing, though all the major decisions — including when and where the company will be listed — will ultimately be made by its current shareholder, the Saudi government.

“We are preparing for all areas because we don’t know where we will be listed,” Amin H. Nasser, Aramco’s chief executive, said in a recent interview at the company’s headquarters in Dhahran. “It makes us ready for any market the government decides.”

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