Saudi Arabia is leaning towards New York as the destination for listing its state-owned oil giant, Saudi Aramco, but London and Toronto are not off the table just yet, according the Wall Street Journal.
Officials in the country are also said to still be in talks with stock exchanges in Asia, but are unlikely to decide on doing the initial public offering there, the paper reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Saudi officials expect the IPO to value Saudi Aramco—which is easily the world’s biggest oil company—at a minimum of $2 trillion, according to Reuters, and the deal would be a major part of the kingdom’s plan to open itself up to global investment.
Last year, the country unveiled sweeping reform plans to wean itself off what it has called its “dangerous addiction to oil”.
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“We have an addiction to oil. This is dangerous. It has delayed the development of other sectors,” Prince Mohammed said in a televised interview with al-Arabiya news channel back in April.
It’s expected that some of the proceeds from a stock market flotation of Saudi Aramco would be used to bolster the country’s sovereign wealth fund.