Aramco listing was delayed to rope in anchor investors: sources

Oil giant Saudi Aramco’s much-vaunted stock market listing was delayed after deal advisers said they need more time to lock in cornerstone investors, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

After a false start last year, preparations gathered momentum this summer with approaches to sovereign wealth funds, rich Saudis and large foreign fund managers as potential cornerstone investors only for plans to unravel for a second time.

The world’s biggest oil company had been expected last week to launch the domestic sale of a 1-2% stake, but the signing up of marquee backers has been hampered by continuing valuation concerns exacerbated by recent attacks on Aramco’s Abqaiq and Khurais plants.

Aramco was unable to answer valuation questions fully during initial talks with investors, said one Gulf institutional investor who has been involved in…

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