Despite plans to diversify, Aramco remains the engine of the Saudi economy. Saudi Aramco/Handout
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Saudi Arabia has changed the status of its national oil giant Aramco to a joint-stock company as of Jan. 1, in a key step for an initial public offering (IPO) planned for later this year. The sale of up to 5 percent of Saudi Aramco, expected to go ahead in the second half of 2018, is a centerpiece of Vision 2030, an ambitious reform plan to reduce the dependence of the Saudi economy on oil. Aramco has a fully paid capital of 60 billion riyals ($16 billion) divided into 200 billion ordinary shares, according to the company's bylaws published in the official bulletin.Aramco's IPO will comply with regulations of the Saudi stock exchange and also regulations of the international market where it will be listed, the official bulletin said.
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