Saudi Arabia, UK ink deal to develop clean tech


Saudi Aramco said on Monday it was still reviewing its options for the initial public offering.

Saudi Arabia is increasingly looking to just float oil giant Saudi Aramco locally as plans for an initial public offering (IPO) on an worldwide exchange such as London or NY hang in the balance, sources close to the process said.

A domestic listing and a private sale to a strategic investor - potentially from Beijing - is another possibility.

HRH Prime Minister also extended sympathies to HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Saudi Arabia.

US President Donald Trump will hold talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman next week, the White House said. London's prospects for getting the Aramco listing were still solid, FT said.

"In addition to listing on Tadawul - the home exchange - a range of worldwide options are being held under active review", an Aramco spokesman told AFP.

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Aramco itself has worked to prepare itself for a listing, though all the major decisions - including when and where the company will be listed - will ultimately be made by its current shareholder, the Saudi government.

London still had a good chance to secure the listing, which would value the company at $2-trillion, but a foreign flotation would likely happen only in 2019 at the earliest, according to the FT.

Cities including London and NY have for months been vying to be awarded the deal, but Saudi Arabia's energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, last week said that the company was too important to risk a transaction in the USA, because of litigation concerns that could stem from existing lawsuits against other oil firms for their role in climate change.

Experts had earlier predicted the IPO delay, given the complexity of the transaction.

The IPO forms the cornerstone of the petro-state's reform programme to wean the economy off its reliance on oil revenues.

"The United Kingdom's Department for International Development has come under fire from the aid sector for signing a 100 million British pound ($138.45 million) aid partnership with Saudi Arabia's development arm".