Abu Dhabi is planning to put as much as $1.5 billion into Saudi Aramco's initial public offering, as the oil giant taps friendly neighbors to prop up a deal that's so far failed to draw foreign investors, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The emirate is seeking to make the investment through one or more state-linked entities, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Aramco representatives are meeting officials of some top Abu Dhabi funds and companies this week to discuss the potential commitments, the people said.
Bringing in a major investor from outside the kingdom would be a relief for Saudi Arabia after plans to market the IPO globally were abandoned. Aramco had high hopes of drawing in sovereign investors, including a big commitment from China, but has yet announce any firm commitments.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who's made the record share sale a centerpiece of his plan to modernize the Saudi economy, will make an official visit to Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, according to Saudi TV station Al-Arabiya.