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Banking & Finance

Japanese banks secure slots as Saudi Aramco underwriters

Mizuho and SMBC among 15 names planned for historic listing

An Aramco employee readies to board company-owned plane at the private airport at Shaybah oilfield in the Saudi Arabia.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese banks Mizuho Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group are among 15 names proposed as lead underwriters for the planned initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, it was learned Friday.

The list also includes Citigroup, according to multiple securities industry sources.

The listing of the Saudi Arabian state-owned oil giant is expected to become the biggest in history, valuing Aramco at more than $2 trillion.

For Japan's Mizuho, domestic and overseas subsidiaries including Mizuho Securities are expected to handle the actual work, while SMBC Nikko Securities likely will do so for Sumitomo Mitsui.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., as the company is formally known, has not responded to a request for comment from Nikkei as of Friday.

The Saudi government seeks to list the shares on the Saudi stock exchange, but is also considering an international offering. The Tokyo Stock Exchange has lobbied to become a venue for the listing.

However, the timing of the IPO has become murky in part due to this month's drone attack on Saudi oil facilities. The roster of underwriters could change depending on where Saudi Aramco goes public.

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