Riyadh, August 24 - Neftegaz.RU. Saudi Arabia's sovereign fund is set to borrow up to $11 billion from international banks after IPO plans for Saudi Aramco were put on hold, the Financial Times reported.
Around 16 banks may be involved in what could be the 1st loan to the Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia is possibly trying to fill the gap that the delays in the listing of Aramco has created for Riyadh’s ambitions to rake in huge proceeds from the IPO to invest in diversification of its economy and mega infrastructure projects.
PIF may pick the lead banks for the loan as early as today. Initially, the fund had targeted to raise around $8 billion, but the loan could easily reach $12 billion, a banker involved in the process told FT.
Saudi Arabia denied the Aramco IPO has been canceled. Saudi Arabia said on August 23 it remains committed to an IPO of Saudi Aramco, despite delays and growing speculation it may never be listed.
The proposed listing of the national champion was a central part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's reform drive aimed at restructuring the kingdom's economy and reducing its dependence on oil revenue.
Saudi announced the plan to sell about 5 % of Aramco in 2016 via local and international listing, predicting the sale would value the whole company at $2 trillion or more.