Saudi Arabia is in negotiations with a leading global energy company to sell a 1% share of the state-controlled oil firm Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman said in a nationally televised interview on Tuesday.
He said the world's biggest oil company, which was listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange in late 2019, could sell further shares to international investors within the next year or two.
The Crown Prince emphasized the importance of the deal that would boost the firm's sales and referred to the company’s plans of using up to 3 million barrels per day of its crude output as feedstock for petrochemicals and other downstream industries by 2030.
The world's largest crude oil exporter is highly dependent on oil exports for its economy, as oil sales constitute the lion's share of government revenues.
The crown prince is increasingly leaning on Aramco to help finance his plan to transform the economy and diversify from hydrocarbons.
The firm's initial public offering (IPO) is part of his Vision 2030 initiative to steer his country away from oil dependency by focusing on renewable and nuclear energy. The initiative also covers generating more employment, introducing more women to business life, and opening up more Saudi cities to foreign tourists.
The prince had already taken steps on Dec. 5, 2019 for an Aramco IPO on the Saudi Stock Exchange, Tadawul, which raised nearly $30 billion for the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund to plow into new investments abroad and economic diversification projects at home.
A week later on Dec. 12, the company's share price soared to 38.7 Saudi riyals ($10.3), pushing Aramco's market value to $2.05 trillion -- the first time in history that a company passed the $2 trillion market cap.
By Busranur Begcecanli