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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

Saudi Arabia says initial public offering of Aramco on track

Kingdom also says revising National Transformation Program to make it more efficient

The planned listing of Saudi Aramco is on track according to the government. Saudi Aramco/Handout
The planned listing of Saudi Aramco is on track according to the government. Saudi Aramco/Handout

Saudi Arabia, the largest economy in the Arab world, which is undertaking a widescale economic reform programme to lessen its dependence on oil revenue, said its plan to sell a stake in Aramco, the world's biggest oil producing company, is on track as the kingdom refines its National Transformation Program (NTP).

"The government privatization programme continues to gain traction and the plan for an initial public offering (IPO) of a stake in Saudi Aramco remains on track," said a spokesman for the Ministry of Culture and Information.

"The IPO process is well underway and Saudi Aramco remains focused on ensuring that all IPO-related requirements are completed on time and to the very highest standards."

The government statement did not say how much precisely it plans to sell, but Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has previously stated it would be as much as 5 per cent of the company, which is valued at US$2 trillion. The listing would be the world's biggest IPO and may raise as much as $100 billion for the state.

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At the same time, the government said it was fine tuning the NTP to make it more efficient. The new version of the multi-pronged reform initiative will be called NTP 2.0.

"A significant focus of NTP2.0 will be to improve efficiency and effectiveness of delivery across institutions," the Ministry of Information said.

"With more than half of the strategic objectives under NTP1.0 now assigned to the other Vision Realization Programs, NTP 2.0 will focus on 36 strategic objectives by allocating them to various NTP portfolios."