Saudi Arabia is restarting preparations for a potential initial public offering of oil giant Aramco, months after putting the planned listing on hold, people familiar with the matter said.
Aramco, the world's most profitable company, recently held talks with a select group of investment banks to discuss potential roles on the offering, according to the people. Detailed work on the IPO may pick up speed later this year or early next year, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.
The revived IPO plan will still face significant hurdles, including the ability of the kingdom to achieve the $2 trillion valuation it's been seeking for the company. Demand for the share sale would also likely be affected by lower oil prices as well as growing concerns among top institutional investors about pouring money into fossil-fuel companies that contribute to climate change.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is also keen to list Aramco in New York, but advisers are wary of opening up the company to the risks of U.S. litigation. Prince Mohammed has insisted that the IPO will still take place in 2020 or 2021.