China, Saudis to Discuss CIC, CNPC Investment in Aramco IPO

Bloomberg News

China’s in talks with Saudi Arabia for its sovereign wealth fund and largest energy company to invest in the initial public offering of the Middle East nation’s state oil producer, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

China Investment Corp. would be the Asian nation’s principle investor in the planned flotation by Saudi Arabian Oil Co., according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. China National Petroleum Corp. may also invest in the IPO, they said. No formal agreement has been reached, according to the people.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz is visiting Beijing this week as the world’s biggest oil exporter gears up for what may be the largest-ever initial public offering. Hong Kong is among markets including London, New York, Singapore and Tokyo that have been identified as possible venues for the sale of 5 percent of the company, which is valued between $400 billion and $2 trillion.

Chinese officials last year pitched a dual listing for the oil giant, known as Saudi Aramco, that would place the shares on both the Hong Kong and Saudi exchanges in return for anchor investments from Chinese funds, Bloomberg News reported.

A spokesman for Dhahran-based Aramco said the company does not comment on rumor or speculation. A spokesman for CNPC in Beijing also declined to comment, while an official for CIC was not able to respond immediately.

— With assistance by Steven Yang

 

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