Saudi Aramco is to begin offering shares to both retail and institutional investors on 17 November, with trading on the country’s domestic Tadawul exchange to begin less than four weeks later. But both the offer price and the number of shares to be sold have yet to be finalized.

Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS) first floated the idea of an Aramco IPO – seemingly with little planning – in an all-night January 2016 interview with The Economist magazine (MEES, 8 January 2016). Not long afterwards he apparently let it be known that he reckoned Aramco was worth $2trillion. This figure has seldom been officially communicated but has been taken by Saudi officials as all but set in stone, all the more so since MBS became Crown Prince in June 2017 consolidating his position as the kingdom’s de facto day to day ruler (MEES, 23 June 2017). (CONTINUED - 799 WORDS)