Exclusive-Saudi Arabia plans Aramco share sale as soon as June, sources say

By Hadeel Al Sayegh and Federico Maccioni

DUBAI (Reuters) -Saudi Arabia is planning a multi-billion-dollar share sale in energy giant Aramco as soon as June in what would be one of the region’s biggest stock deals, two people familiar with the matter said.

The offering could raise around $10 billion, one of the people said. The preparations are ongoing and the details could still change, the sources said, who were speaking on condition of anonymity because the matter is private.

The shares will be listed in Riyadh and it will be a fully marketed offering rather than an accelerated sale over a few days, they added. The government’s communication office and Aramco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Banks including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and HSBC had previously been lined up to manage the sale, Reuters has reported.

Saudi Arabia has embarked on an economic transition known as Vision 2030, which puts an expanded private sector and non-oil growth at the center of its future development.The Saudi government remains overwhelmingly Aramco’s biggest shareholder, with a 90% stake, and heavily relies on its payouts.

Aramco expects to pay $31 billion in dividends, the company said earlier this month, despite reporting lower earnings for the first quarter amid lower oil prices and volumes sold.

Since its initial public offering in 2019, the world’s biggest IPO, Aramco shares have risen from an IPO price of 32 riyals to a high of 38.64 riyals a year ago. Its shares closed at 29.95 riyals on Thursday.

(Reporting by Hadeel Al-Sayegh and Federico Maccioni. Additional reporting by Maha El Dahan and Rachna Uppal. Editing by Anousha Sakoui, Elisa Martinuzzi and Marguerita Choy)