JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) shares were indicated higher in pre-market trading Monday amid multiple media reports that the biggest U.S. investment bank is set to win a lead role in the planned $2 trillion initial public offering of Saudi Aramco.
The Kingdom moved ahead with it ambition to partially float its key asset, which is formally known as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and is also the world’s most profitable company, with a weekend decision to remove Energy Minister Khalid al Falih and replace and replace him with a longtime Ministry veteran, and son of King bin Salman, Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman. al Falih was also ousted as Saudi Aramco chairman in favor of Yasir Al-Rumayyan, who heads the country’s powerful sovereign wealth fund.
Prince Abdulaziz told the World Energy Congress in Abu Dhai Monday that he wants the Aramco IPO off the ground ‘as soon as possible’.
JPMorgan shares were marked 0.6% higher in pre-market trading Monday to indicate an opening bell price of $113.27 each, a move that would extend the stock’s year-to-date gain past 16%.
Saudi Arabia is looking to sell as much as 5% of Aramco, which earned $356 billion in profit last year — nearly seven times greater than Apple Inc. (AAPL) 2018 bottom line — and pumped more than 13.2 barrel of crude per day over the first half of this year.
The listing forms one of the key planks of the Kingdom’s ‘Vision 2030’ ambition to transition away from its over-reliance on crude revenues in favor of a more internationalist approach to both its economic development and its approach to accessing global capital markets.
JPMorgan could be joined in the listing’s management by U.S. rivals Citigroup (C) and Goldman Sachs (GS) , according to multiple reports first established by Reuters, with Europe’s HSBC plc (HSBC) and Saudi Arabia’s Samba Financial rounding out the list of potential leads.
If Aramco follows through on its aim to float 5% of the company, with a broader market value of $2 trillion, the banks involved could share as much as $200 million in fees from the Kingdom.