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Saudi leader expects Aramco IPO by 2021

Saudi Arabia will press ahead with Saudi Arabian Oil Co.'s initial public offering by 2021 after the planned purchase of a stake in petrochemicals maker Saudi Basic Industries Corp. delayed the state oil giant's public listing, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Bloomberg.

Saudi officials initially planned an IPO for Saudi Aramco for the second half of this year. However, the crown prince said it would have been unfair to go ahead with the listing only to surprise investors soon after with a big deal in petrochemicals.

The deal with Sabic will likely take place in the middle of 2019 and after that, Saudi Arabia would have to wait one full financial year before Aramco's public listing, which Prince Mohammed said would occur in late 2020 to early 2021.

He said the Saudi government will hold shares of Aramco after the listing instead of transferring them into the country's sovereign wealth fund, Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. He added that PIF will instead receive $70 billion from the sale of its stake in Sabic and an additional $100 billion that Riyadh hopes to raise from the Aramco IPO.

He added that Saudi Arabia is still planning to sell about 5% of Aramco at a valuation of $2 trillion.