Oil giant Saudi Aramco will not be made public

It must have been the IPO of the century. The quotation from the oil giant Saudi Aramco – true pearl of the kingdom – will ultimately not take place, says Reuters with various sources. The show ends after she has held the markets for more than two years. The operation was great. There was talk of raising $ 100 billion for 5% of the capital. It was one of the most important elements in the plan of Prince Mohammed bin Salman to transform the economy.

A project that has aroused the pull of the large international financial markets that have worked for fierce competition to attract the company to their stock market. Hong Kong, New York and London were in the ranks. The city had carried out a shock wave to entice Riyadh. Xavier Rolet, then head of the London Stock Exchange, even accompanied Theresa May during an official visit to Saudi Arabia. Above all, the London regulator agreed to revise its rules, especially in the area of ​​governance, in order to enable Aramco to be listed on the "premium listing", the most prestigious segment of the London Stock Exchange.

Despite these efforts, the project of an international rating had taken the lead in recent months. Riyadh initially seemed to prefer an introduction to the Tadawul, the Saudi Stock Exchange, which was followed a few years later by an expansion on a foreign market. But even this hypothesis has been abandoned. Saudi Aramco reportedly ended the mission of the banks that advised the group.

A decision that was made some time ago

According to Reuters, the decision – which has not yet been made official – is not new. But the Saudi authorities have chosen to prepare the mind by postponing the deadline several times.

What is surprising is that Aramco started simplifying its extensive structure at the beginning of the summer. In addition to its core activities, it carries out activities in education, housing, hospitals, for its 55,000 employees and their families. He also served as the armed wing of the kingdom of Wahhabi in the construction of real estate or cultural projects.

No official statement

No explanation was given for this postponement. But the question of appreciating the group could be for many. Several analysts were optimistic about the figures in the market and valued the group at $ 2 trillion. The transparency rules inherent to listed companies may also have frightened Riyadh. Aramco would now focus on acquiring a strategic interest in another Saudi group, SABIC's petrochemical specialist.

Guillaume Benoit

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