RIYADH/DUBAI: Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, has been appointed chairman of Saudi Aramco as the world’s biggest oil company gears up to list shares on a stock market.
Al-Rumayyan replaces Khalid Al-Falih, who has been chairman of Aramco since 2015 and has led the preparation for an initial public offering (IPO) of Aramco shares, as well as a record breaking $12 billion bond issue this year. He has been with Aramco since 1979.
Al-Falih remains minister of energy and head of the Saudi delegation at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), where he has been instrumental in forging an alliance with Russia to limit global crude oil production. Last week, a new Ministry of Industry and Minerals was set up, removing those sectors from his former portfolio.
Al-Falih tweeted his congratulations to Al-Rumayyan. “This comes as an important step to prepare the company for the public offering, wishing him every success,” he said.
Al-Rumayyan, who has overseen the transformation of the PIF from a small civil-service pension investor to a sovereign wealth fund with $320 billion of assets under management, is already on the board of Aramco.
Ellen Wald, a US consultant and author of the book Saudi Inc, highlighted the importance of the oil price for the IPO. “As long as Al-Falih is the energy minister, all assumptions are that he is in charge of oil policy and OPEC,” she told Arab News.