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Saudi Arabia confirmed plans for a secondary share sale for its giant state-owned oil company in a deal that could raise over $10 billion.

The sale of 1.545 billion shares in Saudi Aramco, or 0.64 per cent of the company’s issued shares, will kick off June 2, according to a statement. It will include 154.5 million shares for retail investors. The price range is expected to be between 26.70 and 29.00 Saudi riyals per share ($7.12 to $7.73).

The deal will be a test of global investors’ appetite for the world’s biggest oil exporter amid questions about climate change and the future of fossil fuels.

Aramco’s mega initial public offering four years ago raised nearly $30 billion, but relied mostly on local investors . The company’s massive dividend payouts may be an attraction, but its shares are expensive compared with other oil supermajors such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Shell Plc.

Proceeds from the offering will help fund big initiatives to diversify the economy away from oil as the kingdom pushes into artificial intelligence, sports, tourism and futuristic projects such as Neom. 

Against that backdrop, Aramco has maintained its $31 billion quarterly dividend - a boon to the Saudi government, which owns about 82 per cent of the firm. The kingdom’s wealth fund holds a further 16 per cent stake in the $1.9 trillion energy giant.

The Saudi government will continue to be the main shareholder in Aramco after the share offering.