Aramco CEO Khaled al-Falih, also Saudi energy minister, announced Monday that he has been replaced at the head of the Saudi oil giant, in view of a potential IPO of the company.
"I congratulate (...) Yassir al-Rumayyan, head of the Public Investment Fund, for his appointment as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saudi Aramco, a great step to prepare the company for its IPO. ", wrote on Twitter Mr. Falih.
Mr. Roumayyan, already a member of the board of directors, heads the Saudi sovereign wealth fund overseeing an ambitious plan to diversify the kingdom's economy, which depends mainly on black gold.
The announcement of the replacement comes as Mr. Falih lost Friday one of the portfolios attached to his department, that of Industry and Mineral Resources.
Aramco has already indicated that it intends to sell up to 5% of its shares in the financial markets, but only at the "right time", suggesting an introduction between the end of 2020 and early 2021. It should then be the world's largest sale of shares.
This operation is part of a reform plan initiated by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to allow Saudi Arabia to garner some 100 billion dollars (more than 90 billion euros).
Originally scheduled for 2018, Aramco's IPO was postponed due to adverse market conditions.
The group announced in August a profit of 46.9 billion dollars (42.8 billion euros), down 12% in the first half, during a communication exercise extremely rare for this extremely secretive company.
© 2019 AFP