President Donald Trump made a public pitch on Saturday to Saudi Arabia, asking the oil-rich country to start selling shares of Saudi Aramco, its state-owned oil company, on the New York Stock Exchange when the company goes public in the second half of 2018.
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“Would very much appreciate Saudi Arabia doing their IPO of Aramco with the New York Stock Exchange,” the president wrote in a Tweet. “Important to the United States!”
Trump joined other large, financial cities -- namely London, Hong Kong and Tokyo -- in courting Saudi Arabia. Aramco, the largest oil company in the world with a market value estimated to fall somewhere between $2 and $10 trillion, will likely go on record as the largest initial public offering in the world.
“London remains the most international financial listing in the world,” London Stock Exchange Group CEO Xavier Rolet told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo during an interview. “And clearly, a transaction of that size, which has yet to be decided obviously and decisions have yet to be made, naturally would attract global investors’ interest, and of course our participation.”
In March, the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir confirmed during an exclusive interview with Fox News Channel’s James Rosen that there were “serious discussions” about having the NYSE be one of the exchanges for the Aramco IPO. The NYSE (NYSE: ICE) is by far the largest and most liquid exchange in the world.
Saudi Arabia hosted a financial summit in late October aimed at attracting investments in hopes of diversifying its economy and raising the interest of foreign investors in its Public Investment Fund -- a lynchpin of its initiative to modernize the kingdom’s economy.
Part of that long-term, strategic plan, known as Vision 2030, details how Saudi Arabia can undergo a modernization process by becoming a foreign investment powerhouse and transforming Aramco from a state-run oil producer into a global, industrial conglomerate.
Thanks to falling oil prices, Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil producer, has been financially pressed in recent years. However, the Aramco IPO has been delayed multiple times, and there are now ongoing discussions that China may buy a direct 5% stake in the company.