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Saudi Arabia still considering secondary options for Aramco IPO

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia is still considering secondary locations for the flotation of oil giant Aramco after primary location Riyadh, Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Wednesday.

“We are still considering secondary market options” for the international leg of the IPO, Jadaan said, adding the government is committed to the transaction.

He also said there would be little impact on the economy from the attacks on Aramco facilities.

“Saudi Arabia has weathered significantly worse situations than what we have seen now,” he said. “The interruption in terms of the economy, in terms of revenue, is zero.”

Saudi Aramco pumps about one in every 10 barrels of oil produced in the world and sees the downstream – oil refining and petrochemicals – as increasingly important to boost the profit it makes on each barrel.

Their initial plan to sell a 5 percent stake in Aramco was meant to raise funds for Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund to invest in non-oil sectors. When the IPO was shelved, the wealth fund sold a majority stake in petrochemicals company Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) to Aramco for $69 billion instead.

After the SABIC acquisition was announced, Saudi Aramco issued its first international bonds in April. The success of that debt sale, which attracted more than $100 billion in orders for a $12 billion issue.

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