WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump urged on Saturday the world’s largest oil company, Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, to choose the New York Stock Exchange for its initial public offering (IPO), which the company plans to launch in 2018.
“Would very much appreciate Saudi Arabia doing their IPO of Aramco with the New York Stock Exchange. Important to the United States!” Trump tweeted from Hawaii, where he made a stop on the way to making his Asian tour, which begins Sunday.
Aramco plans to trade its shares on the Saudi domestic stock market, the Tadawul, but next year the oil giant also aims to list 5 percent of its shares on some foreign stock exchange that is yet to be determined.
When that is decided, it is expected that Aramco’s 5-percent sale will be the largest stock market operation in history, with estimates of its possible market capitalization value ranging from $50 billion to $100 billion.
Aramco’s IPO will provide much of the financing for the Vision 2030 project led by the new crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman, to modernize the nation’s economy and reduce its dependence on petroleum.
Relations with Saudi Arabia is one of Trump’s priorities – he chose that country for his first trip abroad as president last May and defended its position in its diplomatic dispute with Qatar, to the point of contradicting his own State Department.
Jared Kushner, son-in-law and adviser to Trump, has a close relationship with the Saudi crown prince, and in late October visited the kingdom for the third time this year, for the official purpose of orchestrating a regional effort to restore the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.