ولي العهد السعودي الأمير محمد بن سلمان . صورة: القصر الملكي السعودي via AFP/Bandar al-Jaloud

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Friday pledged that an Aramco IPO will happen in the coming three years in an interview with Bloomberg.

“I believe late 2020, early 2021,” he told the news agency in Riyadh, dismissing rumors that the IPO had been canceled.

The powerful heir to the throne confirmed earlier reports that the long-anticipated IPO would be preceded by Aramco’s purchase of SABIC, the kingdom’s flagship petrochemicals company.

“Actually, in mid-2017, we had an issue, which was: What’s the future of Aramco?” he told Bloomberg, explaining the delay of the IPO, originally slated for 2018.

“If we want to have a really strong future for Aramco after 20, 30, 40 years from today, Aramco has to invest a lot in downstream because we know that the new demand for oil 20 years from now, it will be from petrochemicals.

“So when Aramco does that, it will have a huge conflict with Sabic, because Sabic is about petrochemicals and downstream. And the main source of oil for Sabic is from Aramco.”

The crown prince revealed that the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund is planning to sell its 70% state in Sabic to Aramco “to have one huge mega company in that area in Saudi Arabia and around the world.”

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