SHARE

The proposed Saudi Aramco IPO is already slated to be among the biggest offerings ever and could be a fee bonanza for investment banks.

According to the Wall Street Journal, some of the world’s largest investment banks are vying for as much as $1 billion in fees that the offering could generate.

One source told the paper that, at a recent private meeting, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser suggested that banks should consider funding infrastructure projects to win business tied to the IPO.

State-owned Saudi Aramco declined to comment.

Saudi Arabia is undertaking a series of economic reforms and investment plans aimed at reducing the kingdom’s dependency on oil revenues.

Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments Company and General Electric signed a memorandum of understanding in May to co-invest in strategic sectors, including the oil and gas sector.

Saudi Aramco confirmed in January that it has begun studying “various options to allow broad public participation in its equity” in either the company as a whole or a bundle of its downstream subsidiaries.

No further details about the potential offering have been disclosed.

The kingdom’s government will likely keep a majority stake in the company if the IPO moves forward.

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabian Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that Saudi Aramco may offer a less than 5 percent stake through the IPO.

Prince Mohammed added that the firm is currently valued at more than $2 trillion.

In April, low crude prices prompted Fitch Ratings to downgrade Saudi Arabia’s long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to AA- from AA.

Fitch expects the kingdom’s real GDP growth to slow from 3.4 percent in 2015 to 1.5 percent in 2016 and 1.7 percent in 2017.

The kingdom’s non-oil GDP is projected to be negatively impacted by fiscal consolidation measures and “weaker confidence,” the agency added.

However, low oil prices have not slowed the kingdom’s production down.

Saudi Aramco produced an average of 10.2 million barrels of crude per day in 2015, up from 9.5 million bpd in 2014 and all time high for the company.