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Saudi Aramco in talks with banks about IPO

Lisa Micheal 3 Aug 19
An employee walks past crude oil storage tanks at the Juaymah Tank Farm in Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia, on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018.

Saudi Aramco asked several banks to bid for roles in its possible initial public offering, people familiar with the matter told CNBC on Monday.

Reuters earlier reported news of the company's talks with banks.

An IPO of the state-controlled oil company has been a longtime goal of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who values the company at around $2 trillion. The state-owned oil company would be the world's biggest IPO.

Recently, Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih said Aramco would likely go public in 2020 or 2021.

Aramco decided to move up its IPO because of the success of its debt offering, according to sources, who did not specify which banks received requests from Saudi Aramco. Bankers attended the board's meeting in Boston last month.

Saudi Aramco declined to comment.

Oil prices rose on Monday as the market started to price in the current geopolitical risk of a weekend drone attack on a Saudi Arabia oil facility.

Saudi Aramco said oil production was not affected by the attack.