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Saudi Aramco IPO tantalises markets but challenges policy-makers

Who doesn’t like the plan, promoted by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS), to list a small slice of Saudi Aramco? When it comes to Aramco, even a small slice (up to 5%) is a giant portion for global markets to consume. While still mainly owned by the Saudi state after the initial public offering (IPO), Aramco is expected to become the world’s most valuable listed company when it comes to market in 2018. Some of this will trickle down to potentially millions of smaller Saudi investors, and fire up a sovereign wealth fund that could be the motor for MBS’s much-vaunted Vision 2030 economic diversification.

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