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Saudi Aramco reportedly delays IPO launch again

Illustration of an oil rig in the Saudi desert casting a shadow in the shape of a dollar sign
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Saudi Arabia is postponing plans to float shares in state oil giant Aramco, according to multiple reports Thursday.

Why it matters: Plans to offer a small slice of Aramco are aimed at raising buckets of money to fund the kingdom's economic diversification, but the effort has been beset by delays.

"The delay is likely to again raise questions about whether Aramco and the Saudi government are serious about listing the kingdom’s prized asset and opening up the oil firm to scrutiny from global investors."
The Wall Street Journal

Where it stands: Per Bloomberg, officials are no longer planning an Oct. 20 launch of the IPO process that would have been followed by a listing on the kingdom's domestic exchange by late November.

  • "Now, a listing is unlikely before December or perhaps January," they report. The WSJ's sources offered the same timeline for plans to list up to 3% of the company.
  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is aiming for a $2 trillion valuation, but that's well above analysts' estimates.

Flashback ... to 2017: Saudi Aramco's cloudy IPO