Dubai: Saudi Arabia is poised to sell more shares of energy giant Aramco, three people familiar with the matter said, which could boost the country's funding and its aim to wean the economy away from oil.
The government has lined up Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and HSBC for the sale, one of the people said, which could take place in the second or third quarter of this year, a second person said. The share sale could raise about $20 billion, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the news.
The preparations are ongoing and the details could change, the people said. The government's communication office did not have an immediate comment. Aramco declined to comment.
Saudi Arabia needs hundreds of billions of dollars to achieve the objectives of its economic transition plan known as Vision 2030, which puts an expanded private sector and non-oil growth at the center of its future development agenda.
Aramco in each of the last two quarters paid its shareholders nearly $10 billion in performance-linked dividends announced earlier in 2023, on top of Brent-linked royalties and $19.5 billion base dividends paid each quarter.
It completed the world's largest initial public offering in late 2019, raising $25.6 billion and later selling more shares to raise the total to $29.4 billion.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in January 2021 said that Aramco would sell more shares, with proceeds used to bolster the country's main sovereign wealth fund.
The government directly holds 90.19 per cent, the sovereign Public Investment Fund (PIF) 4 per cent and PIF subsidiary Sanabil another 4 per cent, according to LSEG data.
Aramco is due to release its full-year 2023 financial results in March, when it is expected to provide an update on its capital expenditure, now widely expected to be revised downwards following the capacity decision.