Riyadh, Dubai

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., which is planning what could be the world’s biggest share sale, will publish annual financial statements before the offering set for 2018, Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih said.

The state-owned company, known as Saudi Aramco, will disclose its 2017 annual statements before the listing, Al Falih said on Thursday at a seminar in Riyadh. No single market can absorb an initial public offering of Aramco’s size, and the company is looking to sell shares on at least two or three stock exchanges, he said.

“Aramco applies the best international standards in governance and management,” Al Falih said. “It has advanced technology. All of this qualifies it, at the appropriate time, to publish this information through its IPO programme, and we confirm that the world, without exaggeration, will be amazed.”

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, plans to sell less than 5 per cent of the company as part of plans by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to set up the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund and reduce the economy’s reliance on oil. Saudis have estimated the entire company to be worth more the $2 trillion. The kingdom pumped 10.48 million barrels a day of oil in December, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Saudi Aramco plans to sell shares on the Saudi stock market, and company officials have mentioned also listing on bourses in the London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York and Canada.

“Even if we sold five per cent, no market in the world can absorb an IPO of this size,” Al Falih said at the seminar. “Therefore, the intention is for there to be several markets, at least two or three.”

Saudi finance minister says efficiency initiative saves $21b so far

RIYADH: Saudi Finance Minister Mohammad Al Jadaan said a government efficiency office created last year to review state projects has saved the kingdom 80 billion riyals ($21 billion) on costs, according to the ministry’s official Twitter account. Jadaan expects increased savings this year and in future years to have a positive impact on the kingdom’s finances and the ministry has set up a mechanism to reimburse contractors within 60 days, as promised in December, he said.

— Reuters