Mar 12, 2018

Saudi Aramco IPO looks increasingly unlikely in 2018

A view shows the Saudi Aramco oil facility in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Photo: Hassan Ammar / AFP / Getty Images

The last few days have brought increasingly firm signs that Saudi Aramco's massive international IPO won't happen in 2018.

Why it matters: The IPO is designed to raise tens of billions of dollars to help support the kingdom's economic diversification plans. The selection of the main listing venue is also high-stakes, given the massive fees and action it will bring.

  • "Saudi Aramco’s listing is unlikely to go ahead this year, according to British officials who have been warned by their Saudi counterparts that the world’s biggest flotation was expected to be delayed," the Financial Times reported Sunday.
  • That report comes on the heels of Saudi oil minister Khalid Al-Falih dropping hints in a Bloomberg interview that 2018 won't be the year.
  • For what it's worth, Saudi Aramco responded to the FT's story this morning, offering a brief statement: "Saudi Aramco continues to review options for the listing."
  • Exchanges in New York, London, and Hong Kong are believed to be leading candidates if the IPO goes forward, and Trump has openly urged the Saudis to choose New York.

OPEC's challenge: Via The Wall Street Journal, "OPEC is breaking down into two camps after more than a year of unity. On one side is Saudi Arabia, which wants oil prices at $70 a barrel or higher, and on the other is Iran, which wants them around $60."

Deep dive: A detailed New York Times report that dropped over the weekend takes stock of Interior Department efforts to scale back regulations on oil-and-gas companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico.

Go deeper

Trump calls to fill up more places with oil

President Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil, in the wake of rock-bottom prices and an ensuing economic collapse of the sector itself.

Driving the news: Trump’s comments came Friday during a televised portion of a meeting he hosted with industry CEOs to discuss ways to help the sector. It’s reeling from a historic drop-off in demand with the world shutting down to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 1,083,084 — Total deaths: 58,243 — Total recoveries: 225,422Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 266,671 — Total deaths: 6,921 — Total recoveries: 9,445Map.
  3. 2020 latest: Wisconsin governor calls for last-minute primary election delay.
  4. Oil latest: The amount of gasoline American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start.
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Senators call for independent investigation into firing of Navy captain.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
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America's small business bailout is off to a bad start

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Websites have crashed, phones are jammed and confusion reigns as businesses rushed at today's kickoff to get their chunk of the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program.

Why it matters: This is a race to save jobs in the present and the future, and to ensure that as many workers as possible keep their benefits and paychecks during the coronavirus lockdown.