Saudi energy minister says Aramco IPO could still happen in 2018

Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih. (Reuters)
Updated 04 April 2018
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Saudi energy minister says Aramco IPO could still happen in 2018

WASHINGTON: Saudi Arabia may still move forward with an initial public offering (IPO) for state oil company Saudi Aramco on an international exchange such as London or New York in the second half of 2018, despite previously raising doubts it could be delayed to next year, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Thursday.
Falih told Reuters in an interview in Washington the oil giant could be floated either domestically or internationally late this year. New York is still in the running for the IPO but Saudi officials still need to weigh the risk of potential “frivolous lawsuits” in its final decision.
“We have prepared all documentation to be ready to do both domestic and international listings,” Falih said. “We have not closed the door on 2018.” Saudi Arabia is planning to list up to 5 percent of Saudi Aramco in an initial public offering that could value it at up to $2 trillion and make it the world’s biggest oil company by market capitalization.
Falih said officials have prepared documentation to be ready to do both a domestic and an international listing.
Despite comments he made earlier this month that Aramco was too important to risk listing in the United States because of litigation concerns, such as existing lawsuits against rival oil companies for their role in climate change, he said New York is still in the running for the IPO.
“We have concerns obviously Aramco is too big and too valuable and too important and we could be potentially at risk from some frivolous lawsuits and litigation that we have to consider in our final decision,” he said.
Legal challenges could arise from a US law that would allow US victims of militant attacks to sue foreign governments for compensation.


Algeria suspends grain agency head in corruption probe — govt sources

Updated 15 July 2019
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Algeria suspends grain agency head in corruption probe — govt sources

  • Belabdi is accused of “inflating bills and making false statements”

ALGIERS: Algeria’s government has suspended the head of grains agency OAIC over corruption allegations, sources close to the prime minister’s office said, creating uncertainty for traders who supply one of the world’s biggest cereal importers.
The decision to suspend Mohamed Belabdi pending the completion of investigations was taken at a government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, the sources told Reuters on Monday.
The government also decided to shut a total of 45 mills in relation to the alleged corruption case.
Belabdi is accused of “inflating bills and making false statements,” one of the sources said.
OAIC did not answer telephone calls from Reuters seeking comment.
Algeria has placed several former senior officials in custody since mass protests broke out earlier this year demanding the removal of the ruling elite and the prosecution of people suspected of involvement in corruption.
OAIC has a monopoly over wheat imports and purchases 7-8 million tons of the cereal annually through international tenders in order to supply flour mills.
French supplies usually account for the majority of Algeria’s wheat imports, making the North African country the top export destination for French wheat.
European traders said it was too early to tell if the corruption probe would alter the functioning of OAIC.
But the suspension of Belabdi comes as traders are already anticipating possible changes in Algeria’s import policy due to budgetary constraints and efforts by top wheat exporter Russia to gain access to the Algerian market.
“This shows they are continuing to clean things up and to keep a close eye on spending,” one European grain trader said of the probe into OAIC.