An oil tank outside Saudi Aramco's headquarters in the city of Damam, Saudi Arabia. Picture:  REUTERS/ALI JARAKJI
An oil tank outside Saudi Aramco's headquarters in the city of Damam, Saudi Arabia. Picture: REUTERS/ALI JARAKJI

Khobar — Preparations to float shares of Saudi Aramco in 2018 are proceeding, but no decision has been taken on the venue for the international listing, the state oil company says.

"Preparations are proceeding to the fullest extent for listing in 2018," CEO Amin Nasser told Al Arabiya TV on Sunday.

The company has signed engineering and construction deals with international firms worth $4.5bn.

Aramco’s shares would certainly be listed on the Saudi stock market, Tadawul, he said. After extensive studies of international stock markets, the "right" decision on the international venue would be taken "at the right time". A complete study was made, he said, naming New York, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman said in October that Aramco’s initial public offering, part of an ambitious plan to diversify the Saudi economy beyond oil, was on track to go ahead in 2018. The sale of about 5% of the oil firm is expected to be the biggest in the world.

Saudi officials sought to reassure the business community last week, saying that a sweeping anticorruption investigation would not hurt the economy and that companies and banks could operate as normal. Saudi authorities have questioned 208 people in an anticorruption investigation.

Reuters

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