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Saudi Aramco is looking to divest stakes, through a secondary share offering, to raise as much as $50bn (SR187.5bn), reported the Wall Street Journal via Reuters.

Aramco has been seeking potential investors including multinational oil companies and sovereign wealth funds to participate in the potential sale.

The shares are expected to be offered on the Riyadh exchange in order to prevent legal risks pertaining with an international listing, and the sale is expected before the end of 2023, reported the Wall Street Journal, citing Saudi officials and other people familiar with the plan.

Reputed to be world’s biggest oil company with market value of $2.25trn, Saudi Aramco completed its initial public offering (IPO) in late 2019.

Through the initial IPO, the state-controlled oil company raised $25.6bn and later sold additional shares to raise a total of $29.4bn.

Last year, Saudi Aramco planned to sell shares worth up to $50bn. The plan, however, could not be materialised due to unfavourable market conditions, according to the report.

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By GlobalData

In January 2021, Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that proceeds raised from the sale of Saudi Aramco shares would be used to strengthen the country’s main sovereign wealth fund.

The crown prince was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying: “There will be Aramco share offerings coming in the coming years, and this cash will be transferred to the Public Investment Fund [PIF].”

According to the annual report, the PIF made a total comprehensive loss of $15.61bn in 2022. The fund manages assets worth around $700bn.