Saudi Aramco Eric Lafforgue/Getty Images

La gouvernance d’entreprise chez Saudi Aramco

DUBAÏ – Depuis l’annonce formulée l’an dernier autour de l’entrée en bourse prochaine de Saudi Aramco, plus grande société pétrolière mondiale et véritable joyau commercial de l’Arabie saoudite, un impressionnant buzz de spéculations s’empare des médias – et pas seulement autour de la valorisation exorbitante de l’entreprise. Bien que l’offre publique initiale soit prévue pour 2018, le timing de cette opération demeure tout à fait incertain – sans parler de l’approche qu’appliquera le gouvernement.

L’actuelle situation macroéconomique de l’Arabie saoudite ne semble pas garantir à court terme la « vente au rabais » d’une participation minoritaire dans Saudi Aramco. En période de légère hausse des prix des hydrocarbures, de baisse des dépenses publiques, et de recettes fiscales potentiellement plus élevées, beaucoup annoncent une prochaine réduction des déficits budgétaires du pays. Il est également prévu que l’emprunt souverain diminue, en net contraste avec le record d’émission d’obligations observé l’an dernier.

Le gouvernement saoudien a par ailleurs identifié plusieurs dizaines d’autres entreprises publiques à privatiser afin d’alimenter les caisses de l’État, d’approfondir le marché des actions, et de dynamiser le rôle du secteur privé dans l’économie. Au travers de telles introductions en bourse préalables à l’OPI de Saudi Aramco, attiser l’intérêt pour le marché saoudien des capitaux pourrait être un choix judicieux, dans la mesure où les entrées en bourse déclinent dans la région du Golfe depuis quelques années.

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