New signs: 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 late yesterday afternoon 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 U.S. might be out of the running, per 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.
The intrigue: The WSJ story arrived on the eve of President Trump's meeting today with 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 White House did not immediately respond to an inquiry last night about whether Trump would bring up the IPO.
The agenda: "The two will discuss infrastructure projects, Russia's role in Syria, the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen and the Iranian nuclear deal, a senior administration official said Monday," CNBC reports.