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Saudi Arabia is in talks to sell 1% of Aramco, says crown prince

DUBAI, Apr 28 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s crown prince said in televised remarks on Tuesday that the kingdom is in talks to sell 1% of state oil company Saudi Aramco to a leading global energy company.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that Aramco – the world’s largest oil company, listed on the Saudi stock exchange since late 2019 – could sell more shares, including to international investors, in the next two years.

“There are talks now for the acquisition of a 1% stake by a leading global energy company in a major deal that would boost Aramco’s sales in … a major country,” he said, without elaborating.

“There are discussions with other companies for different holdings, and part of Aramco’s shares could be transferred to the (Saudi) Public Investment Fund and a part would be listed … on the Saudi stock exchange,” he said in an interview with Saudi TV with reason for the fifth anniversary of the Vision 2030 plan.

Aramco’s initial public offering in 2019 was seen as a pillar of the economic diversification program aimed at attracting foreign investment.

Aramco raised $ 25.6 billion in the IPO and then sold more shares under a “greenshoe clause” to bring the total to $ 29.4 billion.

In 2016, the crown prince announced a plan to raise up to $ 100 billion through an international and domestic listing of a 5% stake in Aramco. In 2017, sources said that Chinese state-owned companies PetroChina and Sinopec had written to Aramco to express interest in a direct deal.

The listing plans came to a halt in 2018 and when revived the following year, they garnered little interest beyond the Persian Gulf. Riyadh reduced its ambitions and canceled presentation tours in New York and London, selling 1.7% and relying mainly on national and regional buyers.

(Written by Ghaida Ghantous; edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)

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