Saudi Arabia faces a $100 billion setback

Saudi Arabia faces a $100 billion setback
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RIYADH - The attack is a major test for Saudi Arabia as it could dampen investor confidence in Aramco's upcoming two-stage initial public offering (IPO), a mammoth listing that the government hopes will generate up to $100 billion.

Saudi authorities are considering whether to delay an IPO for the oil giant, people with knowledge of the matter said.

"They're in the process of assessing the damage. It's a possibility but it's still very early," said one of the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The IPO, earlier scheduled for 2018, has already been mired in delays as it reportedly struggled to reach a $2 trillion valuation desired by Saudi rulers.

Saudi authorities have sought to calm jittery markets, with the Energy Intelligence specialist newsletter citing industry sources as saying Aramco was "close to restoring as much as 40 percent" of the lost production, or about 2.3 million barrels per day (bdp).

The Wall Street Journal cited people familiar with the damage estimates as saying the targeted facilities would take weeks to return to full production capacity.

The real extent of the damage at the facilities however remains unclear.

All eyes are on official word from the Saudis on the situation, which could offer reassurance to world markets. -APP/AFP

Middle East