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Mon 16 Sep 2019 06:32 PM

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Saudi Arabia said to mull Aramco IPO delay after drone attacks

Sources say Saudi authorities are considering whether to delay an IPO for oil giant Aramco

Saudi Arabia said to mull Aramco IPO delay after drone attacks
Aramco had planned to debut in November on a local stock market before listing on an international one next year, sources told AFP last week.

Saudi authorities are considering whether to delay an IPO for oil giant Aramco after this weekend's attack on its oil facilities shut down much of its production, people with knowledge of the matter said.

"They're in the process of assessing the damage. It's a possibility but it's still very early," said one of the persons who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Aramco had planned to debut in November on a local stock market before listing on an international one next year, sources had told AFP last week.

The IPO could be the largest ever, with the company's valuation poised to top $1 trillion.

The company's plans appeared to have accelerated in recent weeks after it chose JPMorgan to lead the initial public offering, sources said. Goldman Sachs and Bank of America among others are also among the banks involved.

The IPO is part of Riyadh's efforts to diversify its economy away from petroleum.

Huthi rebels backed by Iran, who have been locked in battle with a Saudi-led coalition for years, claimed responsibility for the attacks on Aramco facilities.

The attack shut down about half of Saudi production, or some five percent of global production, according to Craig Erlam of currency trader Oanda.

No one was injured during the attacks but it remained unclear how soon Saudi Arabia could bring its production capacity back to normal.

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