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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at a September meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Saudi Arabia has approved the long-anticipated initial public offering of state-owned oil giant Aramco, the kingdom's market regulator announced in a statement Sunday.

Why it matters: This could be the biggest IPO ever. Aramco is responsible for about 10% of the world’s oil production, per Bloomberg, which notes it "generated the most profit of any corporation last year with net income of $111 billion — more than Apple Inc., Google’s parent Alphabet Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp. combined."

  • Per Axios' Ben Geman, "offering a small slice of the company is designed to raise tens of billions of dollars to fund the kingdom's economic diversification efforts. But the plan to list up to 5% of Aramco has been beset with delays since the crown prince first made the announcement in 2016."

The big picture: Bloomberg and Reuters first reported that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave the green light on Friday for what could potentially be the world's biggest IPO, after spending over three years considering the action.

Between the lines: Aramco shares will be first traded on Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange and other stocks will later be put on a foreign exchange, AP reports.

  • Aramco is aiming for a valuation of $2 trillion valuation, though "some analysts see about $1.5 trillion as more realistic," Bloomberg notes.
  • Sources told Reuters Aramco "could sell 1%-2% of its shares on the local bourse, raising as much $20 billion-$40 billion."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Senate confirms former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as energy secretary

Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate voted 64-35 on Thursday to confirm former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as secretary of the Department of Energy.

Why it matters: Granholm, only the second woman to head the department, will play a key role in President Biden’s efforts to accelerate the U.S. shift to clean energy and help other countries do the same.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. Vaccine: Pfizer begins study on 3rd vaccine dose as booster shot against new strains — Republicans are least likely to want the coronavirus vaccine
  3. U.S. news: California surpasses 50,000 deaths COVID-19 deaths, more than any other state — Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter return to church after receiving COVID-19 vaccines
  4. Local: Public transit ridership in Twin Cities dropped 53% amid pandemic — Data firm predicts "complete chaos" in next phases of Florida's vaccine rolloutAlaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy tests positive for the coronavirus

Acting Capitol Police chief: Phone logs show Jan. 6 National Guard approval was delayed

Pittman at a congressional tribute for fallen officer Brian Sicknick. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman testified on Thursday that cellphone records show former USCP chief Steven Sund requested National Guard support from the House sergeant-at-arms as early as 12:58pm on Jan. 6, but he did not receive approval until over an hour later.

Why it matters: Sund and former House sergeant-at-arms Paul Irving clashed at a Senate hearing on Tuesday over a dispute in the timeline for when Capitol Police requested the National Guard during the Capitol insurrection.