Mar 20, 2018

Aramco's IPO retreat

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in London earlier this month. Photo: Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

The Wall Street Journal has the latest evidence that Saudi Arabia is delaying and potentially scaling back plans for the IPO of state oil giant Aramco. The paper reported yesterday that the Saudis will move ahead next year with a listing only on their domestic exchange, called the Tadawul, while "taking more time to decide if an international venue is worth it."

The intrigue: The WSJ story arrived on the eve of President Trump's meeting today with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Trump has urged the Saudis to select the U.S. as the international venue for what could be the largest IPO ever.

The U.S. might be out of the running. Here's a key line from the WSJ...

One level deeper: A new post at the Council on Foreign Relations points out that pursuing a Tadawul-only listing carries its own risks.

  • "[O]ne of the biggest concerns about a Saudi Aramco listing on the Saudi exchange is the lack of liquidity due to the Tadawul’s size," write Amy Myers Jaffe and Jareer Elass, noting it's vastly smaller than the New York Stock Exchange and other big foreign exchanges.

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Assault weapons ban dies in Virginia Senate despite Democratic control

Gun-rights ralliers at a protest outside the Virginia Capitol Building in January. Photo ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images.

An assault weapons ban died in the Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday despite a Democratic majority in the assembly, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Democrats flipped the Virginia House and Senate last year after campaigning hard on gun control. The assault weapons bill would have banned future transfers and sales of all assault weapons in the state.

What we know: Deadly Storm Dennis whips at England, Wales and Ireland

Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images.

At least two deaths are being attributed to Storm Dennis on Monday as it continues to strike at parts of England, Wales and Ireland, per AccuWeather.

The big picture: Dennis is the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean. Its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains have caused widespread flooding across the United Kingdom. The army has been deployed in the U.K. to help with flood relief.

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Coronavirus cases rise as 14 American evacuees infected

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

14 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the novel coronavirus before being flown in a "specialist containment" on a plane repatriating U.S. citizens back home, the U.S. government said early Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health