Saudi Arabia’s oil production levels will be far more significant to the global economy than Aramco’s plans for the initial public offerings (IPOs) selling shares in its upstream and downstream facilities, according to an ex-official with the US Treasury Department, Gary Hufbauer, quoted by Sputnik News.
The ex-official said that ultimate control of Aramco would remain in the hands of the Saudi regime, meaning that production and exports would be the key factors. In addition, he believed that the revenues raised from IPOs would not be sufficient to counteract the fiscal dilemma that Riyadh had been facing with its current deficit and declining economic growth. The top estimated value of Aramco’s stock would be $10t, if the planned partial privatization goes through, according to Foreign Policy.
In addition, Former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, James B. Smith, also told Foreign Policy that the idea of an Aramco listing had been around since the Arab Spring as Riyadh had been already then looking for means to boost private sector-led economic development.
Saudi Aramco Chairman, Khalid Al-Falih, explained that the company’s plans for partial privatization had not been determined, as no concrete studies were yet conducted and no time frame set, Trade Arabia informed. Al-Falih confirmed earlier reports that any listing would take place primarily on the domestic stock exchange, without ruling out international listings completely.