Saudi Aarabia' oil minister and chairman of Saudi Aramco Khalid A. Al-Falih arrives as Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman meets Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May in Downing Street in London, March 7, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
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Saudi Arabia's energy minister hinted the initial public offering of the state oil company Aramco could be delayed until 2019, pushing back a central plank of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's plan to modernize the economy.Until recently, Saudi officials insisted the IPO was "on track, on time" for 2018, but two months into the year that deadline is looking harder to meet.Saudi officials hope to raise $100 billion by selling about 5 percent in the company, valuing Aramco at $2 trillion.Falih's comments will also dampen hopes among British and U.S. officials that Saudi Arabia is about to choose either New York or London as the international venue for the giant share sale. A dual international-local listing was integral to the original IPO plan, but Falih is the latest senior Saudi to put the emphasis on listing in Riyadh first.
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