Saudi Aramco has asked banks to submit their pitches for roles in its initial public offering, Reuters reported, citing two anonymous sources. Proposal requests were reportedly sent a "few days ago."
The IPO was meant to free up $100bn for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's diversification efforts in the kingdom, but was put on hold as Saudi Aramco sought to purchase a 70% stake in Saudi chemicals giant SABIC. Skeptics also called into question Prince Mohammed's valuation of the company at $2trn.
Officials have repeatedly assured that the IPO was on track for 2020-21, but this is the first actual move towards a public listing.
Reuters reported that JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and HSBC were initially chosen to lead the IPO when it was announced in 2016, with Moelis & Co. and Evercore slated to act as independent advisers. It is unclear where they will stand in the new arrangement.