Saudi Arabia’s King Salman made the decision to put an end to the plan of listing a portion of Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, Aramco, on the stock market. It was billed as the biggest such deal in the history.
The proposed listing of the Aramco on the stock market 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.
In 2016, the Saudi prince announced the plan to sell about 5 per cent of Aramco via a local and an international listing, predicting the sale would value the whole company at $2 trillion or more.
The expected IPO was a project of the king’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but king’s move away from the IPO shows that as long as he remains in control, Saudi Arabia may not be truly committed to an open and transparent economy.