Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Saudi Arabia is postponing plans to float shares in state oil giant Aramco, according to multiple reports Thursday.

Why it matters: Plans to offer a small slice of Aramco are aimed at raising buckets of money to fund the kingdom's economic diversification, but the effort has been beset by delays.

"The delay is likely to again raise questions about whether Aramco and the Saudi government are serious about listing the kingdom’s prized asset and opening up the oil firm to scrutiny from global investors."
The Wall Street Journal

Where it stands: Per Bloomberg, officials are no longer planning an Oct. 20 launch of the IPO process that would have been followed by a listing on the kingdom's domestic exchange by late November.

  • "Now, a listing is unlikely before December or perhaps January," they report. The WSJ's sources offered the same timeline for plans to list up to 3% of the company.
  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is aiming for a $2 trillion valuation, but that's well above analysts' estimates.

Flashback ... to 2017: Saudi Aramco's cloudy IPO

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 19,680,042 — Total deaths: 727,777 — Total recoveries — 11,962,565Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 5,002,523 — Total deaths: 162,455 — Total recoveries: 1,643,118 — Total tests: 61,080,587Map.
  3. Politics: Nancy Pelosi says states don't have the funds to comply with Trump's executive order on employment — Trump adviser Larry Kudlow says he regrets suggesting the benefits could only be extended by Congress.
  4. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective — Poll: 1 in 3 Americans would decline COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Schools: Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral — How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on — Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Howard to hold fall classes online.