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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Saudi Aramco names five new board members

Two ministers and two former US chemical executives join board

Saudi Aramco added new members to its board as it prepares for an IPO. Hamad I Mohammed / Reuters
Saudi Aramco added new members to its board as it prepares for an IPO. Hamad I Mohammed / Reuters

Saudi Aramco made five new appointments, including two ministers and two former US chemical executives, to its board of directors as the world’s biggest oil exporter prepares for an initial public offering.

The appointees include Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed Al Jadaan, Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammed Al Tuwaijri, former Chevron Phillips president and chief executive Peter Cella and former Sunoco chairwoman, president and chief executive Lynn Elsenhans. Andrew Liveris, former executive chairman of chemical giant DowDuPont, will begin his Aramco role on July 1 after retiring from his current positions as director and chief executive of Dow Chemical Company.

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The five new members are in addition to six returning members, Aramco said in a statement. The listing of up to 5 per cent of the oil company's shares, the centrepiece of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 economic reform plan, could generate up to US$100 billion for the kingdom's government. Saudi Arabia, the region’s biggest economy and Opec’s top oil producer, aims to transform its economy by cutting its dependence on the sale of hydrocarbons to generate revenues. The development of the country’s capital market is part of Riyadh’s overhaul agenda.

Last October, Tadawul chief executive Khalid Al Hussan told The National he hoped the Saudi bourse would be the exclusive venue for Aramco's IPO, but that such a proposition could not be taken for granted.

The inclusion of chemical executives in Aramco's board is a nod to Saudi Aramco’s growing move downstream as it looks to earn more from the sale of products in growing markets.

The outgoing board of directors include Royal Court advisor Majid Al Moneef, Khaled Al Sultan, rector of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and Peter Woicke, former World Bank managing director and former vice president of the International Finance Corporation.