China is creating a consortium to buy into the first listing of Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company, Aramco, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
The oil giant is scheduled to list up to a 5% share in Riyadh, Tadawul and also a selected international bourse, probably in Asia. The company’s current valuation at $2 trillion dollars means that a 5% sale share could fetch $100bn. That could make it the largest IPO to date, which makes the stakes for the bourse that will host the sale extremely high.
Hong Kong’s bourse is said to be the strongest candidate. London, Tokyo, and Singapore will also be contending.
The Chinese consortium is said to include China’s Investment Corporation (CIC) and energy companies Sinopec and PetroChina. The Commercial Bank of China is also considering a role in the IPO.
For the consortium of state-owned companies, the Aramco share would allow influence over the world’s biggest oil exporting company in prioritizing export markets. China is the second biggest oil consumer in the world.
Aramco’s board is to meet in in Shanghai in May to finalize the details of the sale.