Saudi Aramco to sell stock in new offering: Report

Members of media chat before the start of a press conference by Aramco at the Plaza Conference Center in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia November 3, 2019. 

Hamad I Mohammed | Reuters

Saudi Arabian state oil giant Aramco plans to offer a fresh sale of between $10 and $20 billion of its stock as soon as this week, the Wall Street Journal reported late Tuesday, citing individuals with knowledge of the matter.

The Saudi state and its sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, own the vast majority of Aramco, with just 1.5% of the company traded publicly on the Tadawul, the kingdom’s stock exchange, following its first-ever public offering in 2019.

The sale raised a record $29.4 billion, still the history’s largest IPO to date. Aramco is the world’s largest oil company in terms of both daily oil production and market cap.

The reported new sale would come at an opportune time for the kingdom, which in early May chalked its sixth consecutive quarterly budget deficit amid high spending on multi-trillion dollar megaprojects and simultaneous lower oil revenues.

Aramco refrained from providing comment when contacted by CNBC.

If the offering goes ahead, it would relieve some financial pressure on the kingdom, at least in the near-term, the Journal reported. Saudi Arabia in May forecast a budget deficit of 79 billion Saudi riyals ($21 billion) for the year, as well as a fiscal deficit in 2025 and 2026.The stock sale could still be delayed or canceled, the Journal reported.

Read the full report here.