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Ben Geman Mar 20
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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.
Axios 6 hours ago
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Haley Britzky 7 hours ago
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Extremist with ties to 9/11 captured by U.S.-backed Syrian forces

Fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stand guard on a rooftop.
Fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces stand guard on a rooftop in Raqa on October 20, 2017. Photo: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

Mohammed Haydar Zammar, a Syrian-born German extremist who is believed to have links to the 9/11 attacks, is being questioned by the Syrian Democratic Forces, NBC reported Wednesday, citing an AFP report, and CNN confirmed on Thursday.

Why it matters: Per CNN, Zammar "is believed to have recruited some of the perpetrators" for the 9/11 attacks. Zammar was "a well-known figure in the Muslim community (and to German and U.S. intelligence agencies by the late 1990s)," the 9/11 Commission Report stated, according to NBC. Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon told CNN that Zammar "was captured more than a month ago by SDF partners as part of their ongoing operations to defeat ISIS inside Syria."