Prince Mohammed: 'Push' for 2017 Saudi Aramco IPO
Launching an Aramco IPO "just... to cover Saudi financial needs" is "far from the truth", deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has revealed
Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said he is pushing for Saudi Aramco's initial public offering (IPO) to be launched in 2017.
He said the move will form part of the Kingdom's plans to create a Public Investment Fund (PIF), and boost privatisation in the Kingdom.
Prince Mohammed also said there "is no doubt" Aramco's IPO will be open to foreign investors, and will "without a doubt" be in the market by 2018.
He continued: "I’m trying to push for it to be in 2017.
"Aramco will greatly benefit, not only the fund, but also the Saudi economy as a whole."
Prince Mohammed said PIF will become "the largest fund on Earth" if Aramco's shares are transferred to its hold.
There will be numerous benefits from Aramco's IPO, besides simply improving Saudi's liquidity.
"Many were saying that the idea of IPOing Aramco was just an attempt to get liquidity to cover Saudi financial needs, but that’s far from the truth," he said.
"The objective is to diversify income. This is the main objective.
"Therefore, IPOing Aramco and transferring its shares to PIF will technically make investments the source of Saudi government revenue, not oil.
"So within 20 years, we will be an economy or state that doesn’t depend mainly on oil, whether from profits of the PIF or other sources of income that we target," Prince Mohammed continued.
"So this is one of the benefits of listing Aramco, other than the benefit to the Saudi market, the benefit to the Saudi economy in general and the benefit to the continuity of Aramco and its growth," he added, according to Bloomberg.