2. Here comes the Aramco IPO
Saudi Aramco's IPO really seems to be happening — but not at the scale that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) wanted.
Driving the news: Saudi officials formally announced plans Sunday to proceed with floating a small slice of Aramco on the kingdom's domestic exchange.
Why it matters: It's by far the strongest step yet toward the oft-delayed plan that's aimed at raising tens of billions of dollars to fund Saudi economic diversification.
- It could also be the largest IPO in history.
What's next: The company plans to release a prospectus on Nov. 9 and begin trading on the domestic exchange, called the Tadawul, in December.
- The Saudis are eyeing a subsequent listing on an as-yet-unnamed international exchange in the future.
- The overall goal is to float 5% of the world's largest oil production company.
But, but, but: Saudi officials concede the desired $2 trillion valuation isn't realistic, and are instead aiming for $1.6 trillion–$1.8 trillion, Bloomberg reports.
- The news outlet reports that major banks working on the deal have also offered estimates far below $2 trillion (for instance BNP sizes it up at $1.42 trillion).
The big picture: "At a $1.5 trillion valuation, a 3% listing would raise about $45 billion, far higher than the $25 billion Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. raised in the biggest IPO to date five years ago," per WSJ.