Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company, is planning to list in London, Hong Kong and New York in 2017 or 2018 after the initial public offer. The IPO which is part of Prince Mohammad bin Salman's "2030 Vision" is being handled by JP Morgan and Michael Klein, a former Citigroup investment banking chief.
According to reports, authorities in the Middle Eastern country are hoping to attract oil giants such as ExxonMobil, China's Sinopec, and BP into buying a strategic stake in Aramco. The deal is said to be such that the oil giants will get access to the exploration and production operations of Aramco in exchange for refinery deals or access to the latest technology. "Aramco has been very unsuccessful at finding gas. They have to invite back foreign companies because they need the upstream technology," a source told the Telegraph.
The move follows recent plans by Saudi Arabia, one of the world's largest oil producing nations, to reduce dependence on oil, prices of which have fallen steeply since June 2014. "We will not allow our country ever to be at the mercy of commodity price volatility," Mohammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince had said.
He had recently revealed plans to create a $2tn (£1.39tn, €1.75tn) sovereign wealth fund, that could be used for making investments in strategic financial and industrial assets across the world. Proceeds from the Saudi Aramco IPO would help in raising the funds required for the wealth fund. The prince has said that Aramco, which is estimated to be worth about $2.5tn, would sell only 5% of its equity. The money it would raise from the IPO is estimated to be between $100bn and $150bn.