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Saudi Arabia Appoints Chef of PIF as Aramco Chairman

Saudi Arabia appointed Yasir al-Rumayyan, head of the dominion’s sovereign wealth fund, known as the PIF, as chairman of Aramco, replacing Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, as the state oil titan plans to go public.

The news first came on Monday, citing an unnamed Saudi delegate.

Falih later congratulated Rumayyan on the appointment on his official twitter account, saying that it was “an important step to organize the company for the public offering.”

Aramco, the world’s top oil-producing firm, is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) of as much as 5% by 2020-2021. Selling a stake in Aramco has been a centerpiece of Vision 2030, a plan to expand the Saudi economy away from oil championed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Rumayyan, a former investment banker, was appointed the managing director of the Public Investment Fund in September 2015, after a serving as an advisor at the royal court for a brief interval before that. He joined Saudi Aramco’s council in 2016.

The step comes a few days after Saudi Arabia created a brand new ministry for industry and mineral assets, separating it from the dominion’s colossal energy ministry, in a series of royal orders issued late on Friday.

The separation seems to diminish the sprawling authority of Falih, who retained administration of the energy portfolio.

Falih had overseen over half the Saudi economy via the super-ministry, which was created in 2016 to help streamline new changes. However, regardless of ambitious plans for sector and mining, the sectors have seen comparatively little development.

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