The New York Times

Posted: 22 November 2019

It’s a Thanks, but No Thanks From Malaysia’s Petronas

Aramco plans to sell 1.5% of the company, looking to raise up to $25.6 billion and giving the company a potential market value of between $1.6 trillion and $1.7 trillion.

It is the centerpiece of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plans to diversify the Saudi economy away from its reliance on oil. But the company has canceled marketing roadshows for its listing outside of the Gulf because of the lack of interest from foreign institutional investors.

That has raised questions about to what extent the listing can really diversify the country’s economic interests. “Just selling a 1.5% stake in an oil company is not really going to achieve an enormous amount,” said Charles Hollis, a former UK-Saudi diplomat and director at intelligence consultancy Falanx Assynt.

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