Saudi's Aramco, world's most profitable company, to go public
Saudi Aramco, world's biggest and most profitable company has announced its IPO
Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil giant Aramco, the most profitable company in the world, has formally announced its initial public offering (IPO) on Sunday.
In what is the world's largest such listing, the company is expected to offer 1%-2% of its shares at the Riyadh stock exchange, to raise between $20 billion to $40 billion.
Chief executive Amin Nasser called it a "truly historic" day.
At around $1.5 trillion, Aramco's worth is 50% more than the world's most valuable listed companies, Microsoft and Apple.
The world's largest oil company had announced its plan to go public three years ago. But it got delayed seven weeks ago following crippling attacks on its oil facilities.
"The company does not expect the impact of these attacks to have a material impact on its business, financial condition or results of operations," the company said in its launch announcement.
The public listing will be done in two rounds: one each for institutional and individual investors. The listing is expected to beat the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's record-breaking 2014 IPO.
The plan came in the wake of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's trying to diversify Saudi Arabia's oil-dependent economy away from oil.
Aramco came into being after the Saudi government brought, between 1973 and 1980, a company that was established in 1933 through a deal between the government and the Standard Oil Company of California (which later became Chevron) to survey and drill for oil in the middle eastern nation.
With Saudi Arabia having the second-largest oil reserves in the world -- first being Venezuela -- and able to extract at the cheapest rate in the world -- below $10 per barrel-- the company is immensely profitable. In the first six months of 2019 alone it made a profit of $46.9bn. In comparison, Apple's profit was $21.6bn.