The valuation assigned to the kingdom’s national oil company is the largest ever, and more than the value of the five largest oil companies in the world combined. (Financial Times)
Talking point: Despite the record, the debut is a pared-down version of the kingdom’s original ambitions. Since Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman first shared plans for Aramco’s listing in 2015, Saudi Arabia had been aiming to raise US$100 billion on a valuation of US$2 trillion. The listing comes as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to deepen their oil supply cut by two per cent until March, a move Saudi Arabia had been pushing for to boost oil prices to support the IPO. The kingdom had ended up raising mainly from local investors amid tepid demand internationally, due to its lofty valuation goals. The previous biggest listing was Alibaba’s—the Chinese e-commerce marketplace raised US$25 billion on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014.