Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 28 May 2020

Saudi Arabia approves listing of state assets planned for privatisation

Privatisation is part of the kingdom's Vision 2030 economic roadmap that aims to diversify the economy

A Saudi trader monitors stocks at the Saudi stock market in Riyadh. The kingdom is moving forward with its privitisation plans and listing of companies on the local capital market. Reuters
A Saudi trader monitors stocks at the Saudi stock market in Riyadh. The kingdom is moving forward with its privitisation plans and listing of companies on the local capital market. Reuters

Saudi Arabia’s government approved on Tuesday the listing of government assets planned for privatisation on its stock market.

“Assets, sectors and services planned for privatisation shall be listed on the Saudi stock market through direct or indirect initial public offering (IPO),” the government said in a statement carried by the state news agency SPA.

“The indirect public offering for such assets will be through a company or companies set up by the National Privitisation Centre, that own government stakes in these projects to be listed on the Saudi capital market,” the statement added.

The Arab world's largest economy plans to eventually raise as much as $200 billion through privatisation. Privatisation, increasing the efficiency of state-owned enterprises and cultivating local industries are part of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic roadmap, that aims to expand the private sector, diversify the economy and reduce the country’s dependence on hydrocarbons.

Last year the the kingdom raised about $30 billion (Dh110bn) from the IPO of Saudi Aramco in Riyadh. In an interview last month with Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein, Aramco's chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan said the kingdom is planning to sell more of its stake in the world’s biggest oil producer and potential future share sales could be held outside Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Aramco is the world's most profitable company. In the first nine months of last year, it declared a profit of $68.19bn on revenue of $217.1bn. The company accounts for one in every eight barrels of crude produced. In 2018, it produced 13.6 million barrels per day of oil equivalent, including 10.3 million bpd of crude.

Attracting foreign direct investment is one of the key pillars of Saudi Arabia’s economic overhaul and market regulator, the Capital Market Authority, has implemented several structural and legislative changes over the past few years to open up the kingdom’s equities market to qualified foreign investors.

Updated: April 1, 2020 09:28 AM

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