British officials have warned that the initial public offering (IPO) of Saudi Aramco is likely to be delayed until 2019 at the earliest.
Saudi Arabia wants to list 5% of the state-owned company, in what would be the world’s largest flotation, as part of its plans to reduces the economy’s dependence on oil.
The listing of the company, that is said to be worth $2 trillion, was expected to go through in 2018, with London and New York City being the front runners to host the company on their respective stock exchanges.
However, Saudi Arabia is not ready for the offering with questions rising over the simultaneous or sequential floatation on a foreign exchange market, as well as that of the Middle Eastern nation.
A Saudi Aramco spokesperson said: “Saudi Aramco continue to review options for the listing. In addition to listing on Tadawul – the home exchange, a range of international options are being held under active review. Appropriate decisions will be made in due course.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May travelled to Riyadh with London Stock Exchange CEO Xavier Rolet as part of the government’s campaign to secure the IPO.