Saudi Aramco's plan to take a portion of its business public next year remains on track, the oil giant's chief executive Amin Nasser told CNBC in an exclusive interview.
Nasser made his comments Sunday following recent reports that the initial public offering for the world's largest energy company could be delayed into 2019 or shelved in favor of selling private shares to sovereign wealth funds. Saudi Aramco has tried to swat down those rumors, and Nasser denied the reports again in an interview with "Squawk Box"in the command center at Saudi Aramco headquarters in Dhahran.
"We have always said that we will be listing in 2018, and to be more specific, in the second half of 2018," he said. "However, I think journalists and writers — they are expecting more and more information, and we are governed by, you know, certain rules with regard to talking about the IPO and all of that."
"The IPO is on track. The listing venue will be discussed and shared in due course," Nasser added.
Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil company, plans to list its shares on the Saudi domestic stock market, the Tadawul, and one or more foreign exchanges. However, it has yet to choose the overseas market, fueling speculation about the kingdom's plans. The Financial Times reported last month that China was emerging as a front-runner in the possible plan to delay the IPO and sell shares to sovereign wealth funds.