Aramco said to seek advisers for world’s biggest share sale

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is asking banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and HSBC Holdings Plc to pitch for an advisory role on its initial public offering as it pushes ahead with plans for the world’s largest share sale, three people with knowledge of the matter said. The company has also sent out the so-called request for proposals to lenders including Credit Suisse Group AG and Morgan Stanley, the people said, asking not to be identified as the process is private. Aramco, as it’s known, is targeting the second or third quarter of 2018 for the IPO and expects to select banks later this year, two of the people said. Aramco has also shortlisted New York-based boutique investment bank Moelis & Co. and Evercore Partners Inc. as potential financial advisers for the IPO, people with knowledge of the matter said. Aramco had been seeking a boutique to help it select banks to underwrite the offering, decide on venues for the listing and ensure the IPO’s smooth execution, people familiar with the plans had said in September. Saudi Arabia plans to sell less than 5 per cent of the company as part of plans by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to set up the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund and reduce the economy’s reliance on hydrocarbons. The sale’s estimated size of $100 billion would make it the largest ever, dwarfing the $25 billion raised by Chinese internet retailer Alibaba in 2014. (Matthew Martin, Dinesh Nair and Arif Sharif/Bloomberg)

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