In what would have been the largest IPO ever at a valuation of $2 trillion, Saudi Arabia has halted its plans for a public listing. The advisors have been disbanded from the project for now.
The proposed listing of the national champion was a central part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s reform drive aimed at restructuring the kingdom’s economy and reducing its dependence on oil revenue. The prince announced the plan to sell about 5 percent of Aramco in 2016 via a local and an international listing, predicting the sale would value the whole company at $2 trillion or more. Several industry experts however questioned whether a valuation that high was realistic, which hindered the process of preparing the IPO for the advisors. Stock exchanges in financial centers including London, New York and Hong Kong had been vying to host the international tranche of the share sale.