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Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin H. Nasser. Photo: Sergei Bobylev/TASS via Getty Images

Multiple new reports suggest the initial public offering of Saudi Arabia's massive state oil company Aramco may be shelved, not just delayed.

Why it matters: Saudi officials had hoped to raise tens of billions of dollars to help fund the kingdom's economic diversification by going public with a small piece of the company.

  • The IPO has been a part of the wider agenda of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the aggressive and ambitious heir to the Saudi throne, but has been mired in delays and uncertainty.

The latest: A newly published Financial Times interview with CEO Amin Nasser only grazes the topic, but in the article he says that the government had not determined whether it will happen.

  • That's a slight shift from Nasser's comments in recent months, like these in March, when he said the outstanding questions were about timing and listing venue.

More signs: The Wall Street Journal reported late last week that the IPO might be scuttled outright, and quoted an anonymous senior exec saying, “Everyone is almost certain it is not going to happen."

A weekend Bloomberg piece similarly says that many, including senior Aramco officials, doubt it will occur. Some key executives working on the offering have left or taken other roles, they report. Bloomberg notes that one headwind is...

  • The Trump factor: "With Republicans facing tough midterm elections in November, he’s pressured Saudi Arabia to pump more oil, and cheaper crude means a lower valuation for the company."

Worth noting: An Aramco rep has declined to comment to Axios in recent days.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.

Fringe right plots new attacks out of sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Domestic extremists are using obscure and private corners of the internet to plot new attacks ahead of Inauguration Day. Their plans are also hidden in plain sight, buried in podcasts and online video platforms.

Why it matters: Because law enforcement was caught flat-footed during last week's Capitol siege, researchers and intelligence agencies are paying more attention to online threats that could turn into real-world violence.

Kids’ screen time up 50% during pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When the coronavirus lockdowns started in March, kidstech firm SuperAwesome found that screen time was up 50%. Nearly a year later, that percentage hasn't budged, according to new figures from the firm.

Why it matters: For most parents, pre-pandemic expectations around screen time are no longer realistic. The concern now has shifted from the number of hours in front of screens to the quality of screen time.