Saudi Aramco has been given joint-stock status, Saudi Arabia’s official gazette announced on Friday.
According to Reuters, this is a key step for an initial public offering (IPO) planned for later.
The company plans to sell under five percent of its stake in what is expected to be the world's largest ever initial public offering.
Managed by a board of directors, rather than directly by government, joint-stock companies allow individuals to hold stock and thus share in both the debt and profit of the company.
‘The flotation forms the cornerstone of a reform drive led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to wean the economy off its reliance on oil,’ AFP reported.
A provisional board of directors will be appointed based on the recommendation of the kingdom's oil minister, the gazette stated.
The statement also said that the state will retain direct ownership of the majority of Aramco shares.