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Aramco defers plans to hold IPO to 2019

Saudi Arabia's oil giant Aramco is likely to hold the initial public offering (IPO) in 2019, thus deferring the company's initial plan to go public this year, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Friday.

Al-Falih has previously told CNBC that Aramco is ready to go public but the company and kingdom will wait for the "optimum". time.

He said the initial pubic offering of the world's largest company could be this year, but it could also be later. Aramco is expected to be listed first on the local Tadawul exchange in Saudi Arabia, according to industry sources.

"What remains is the selection of a potential secondary venue and the timing, and like I said we need to make sure the markets are ready to do that" said Al-Falih. "We're ready to do it in the second half if we determine the timing is optimum." But he added if it slips, that is not a problem.

"I don't see 2018 as a necessary year to list unless it's optimum," he said.

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