Saudi Aramco planning to issue bonds in Q2 2019: Al-Falih
Saudi Aramco is planning to tap the international bond market in Q2 2019, energy minister Khalid Al-Falih told Argaam on Wednesday.
The minister also said Saudi Arabia is set to float Saudi Aramco in an initial public offering (IPO) after completing its planned acquisition of Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corp (SABIC).
“Saudi Aramco is planning to tap the international bond market in Q2 2019. These bonds require a prospectus, to be issued by Aramco upon the sale including financial statements and information for shareholders about the IPO,” he said.
“Saudi Aramco is in talks with Public Investment Fund (PIF) for a stake in the petrochemical producer. Upon reaching an agreement, we’ll start putting the deal into force. Anti-trust approvals could be obtained from nine months to one year, as Saudi Aramco and SABIC rank among the world’s largest players,” Al-Falih said.
When the deal is closed, Saudi Aramco will take [some time] to consolidate SABIC’s assets in its financials ahead of the planned share sale.
“We had earlier said the major oil producer is planning to go public by 2021. We’ll continue to disclose updates about SABIC’s acquisition and our planned IPO,” he added.
Al-Falih noted that the Saudi government remains committed to offering a stake in Aramco for the public, adding, “The state-run oil exporter will become more attractive to investors after buying a controlling stake in SABIC.”
When asked about the impact of oil reserve assessment on Aramco’s market capitalization, Al-Falih said that the oil companies’ reserves, sustainable production and ability to fulfill market demand are the basic elements of assessment. “Saudi Aramco has a highly conservative business profile and can meet all operating and commercial liabilities.”