Saudi daily retracts Aramco sale claim
RIYADH: A Saudi financial newspaper Sunday retracted an article it published the previous day saying that Riyadh planned to sell a 49 percent stake in state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco within a decade.
“Al-Eqtisadiah apologises for the information published on Aramco,” said the paper, which like most media in Saudi Arabia is close to the authorities.
Saturday’s edition quoted an unnamed senior official as saying that the kingdom would sell nearly half of its sole oil producer within 10 years.
“The shares for sale and the timeframe are different to those mentioned in the article,” the paper said on Sunday.
The kingdom is looking to diversify its oil-dependent economy and has already announced cutbacks after its 2015 deficit snowballed to $97 billion (93 billion euros).
The IPO for state-owned Aramco could take place in 2018 and an initial sale of a five percent share is expected to form the basis for the fund holding around $2 trillion in assets.
The firm will next year begin publishing quarterly results in a bid to attract potential investors, Aramco chief Amin Nasser has said.