In an article entitled, ‘Saudi Aramco considers shelving international IPO’, the Financial Times reports that the Saudi’s, long regarded as the central bank of oil, are considering selling private shares of its crown jewel to various governments rather than doing an public offering. Aramco is even bigger than any of the biggest private companies in the world.
Needless to say, part of the reason for the Saudi government to consider a change is the major difficulties associated with pulling off what would likely be the first trillion dollar company floated on the public market. Another reason is that the fundamentals for oil still aren’t super healthy even now, three years years after crude prices crashed.
An eventual IPO of Saudi Aramco could still happen, however, although the timeline is now in question. Oil bulls certainly hope that the adoption of electric cars doesn’t negatively affect oil fundamentals too much. Recently there has been much hoopla about China trying to push its automakers, both domestic and foreign, to produce more electric cars. If more people drive electric cars, demand for oil as a transportation fuel will go down.
Many investors previously thought that Saudi Aramco’s IPO would stabilize oil markets as the country sought to balance global supply and demand to ensure a good reception for Aramco’s IPO. Now that an IPO in the near future isn’t guaranteed, investors don’t look too concerned though. The entire crude sector is quiet today and all three stocks, Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE:OAS), ENSCO PLC (NYSE:ESV), and Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG), are in the green.
Oil traders certainly hope that this week’s EIA numbers turn out okay, and that demand from emerging markets pull higher. There is still hope that oil can pull out from its doldrums.