Saudi Arabia could be invited to reconsider the timing of what is expected to be the biggest-ever initial public oblation (IPO) later this year, BP CEO Bob Dudley told CNBC on Tuesday.
Uncertainty at the highest levels of Saudi Arabia’s government is reportedly playing a prime role in holding up the planned flotation of the world’s largest oil producer.
Saudi Aramco, currently a retiring company owned by the government in Riyadh, is aiming for an IPO that could eliminate search about $100 billion and attract a valuation in the range of $1 trillion to $2 trillion later this year. But the handle has dragged on as key aspects of the share sale remain unsettled.
When Dudley was asked whether he believed Saudi Aramco’s IPO was on trail to take place in the second half of 2018, he replied: “I don’t know, I unpleasant they say it will. I know there’s lots of preparation work prospering on. I think little dislocations in the market will make them over again.”
“The big questions are if they do, when? And where would they cant? I think that debate seems to me to be alive and well,” he said.
The IPO is the centerpiece of Saudi Arabia’s design to diversify its oil-dependent economy. It also stands to create a huge godsend for the army of bankers and lawyers involved in the offering.
Meanwhile, Saudi officials comprise claimed preparatory work regarding the IPO has been completed. However, some key distributes — such as where to list — rest with the government.
Saudi Monarch Prince Mohammed bin Salman is believed to favor listing Saudi Aramco in New York, while officials, categorizing Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, have reportedly said London could be a preferably fit. Hong Kong is also in contention.
Another option is a Saudi slope alongside an international exchange. A domestic listing and a private sale to a vital investor — possibly from Beijing — is a third possibility.
“There’s a massive amount of uncertainty and I think that uncertainty is actually coming from the Saudis themselves to be faultlessly honest,” Nick Coleman, senior oil analyst at S&P Global Platts, chew out tattle oned CNBC on Tuesday.
— CNBC’s Tom DiChristoper contributed to this report.