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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

There's a split-screen effect with the Saudi Aramco IPO: it's simultaneously the largest ever and an event that's less consequential than initially envisioned.

Driving the news: The company yesterday said shares would be priced at 32 riyals, or $8.53, per share on the country's domestic exchange, representing a $1.7 trillion valuation.

  • They're initially selling 3 billion shares, a 1.5% slice, which means a $25.6 billion offering that edges out the 2014 IPO of the Chinese conglomerate Alibaba for the record.

Why it matters: That's a lot of money that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) hopes to steer toward the kingdom's efforts at economic diversification.

  • Trading begins this month, the culmination of the long-planned, often delayed effort.

But, but, but: It's all a far cry from MBS' earlier vision of a 5% float of the world's largest oil-producing company, with a higher $2 trillion valuation.

  • Plans for a listing on an international exchange seem to be on hold at best.

The big picture: Bloomberg notes that for MBS, getting the sale across the finish line "could help get his ambitious plan to overhaul the economy back on track."

  • "It’s been derailed by problems at home, including the backlash against his purge of the elite, and abroad by the outrage over the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and the war in Yemen," they report.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

59 mins ago - World

U.N. envoy resumes push for cease fire in Gaza

Tor Wennesland. Photo by KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP via Getty Images

Tor Wennesland, U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process , has been holding extensive talks with both Israel and Hamas over the past 24 hours in an effort to restore peace, a diplomatic source tells Axios.

Driving the news: The source said Wennesland spoke on Sunday to Israel’s National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and other senior Israeli security officials as well as Hamas officials and Egyptian intelligence officials.

4 hours ago - Health

CDC director says politics didn't play a role in abrupt mask policy shift

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky told Fox News Sunday that political pressure had nothing to do with the agency's sudden announcement that fully vaccinated Americans can go without masks in most indoor settings.

Why it matters: Emerging evidence shows vaccinated people are less likely to transmit the virus, as COVID-19 cases and deaths drop. But the responsibility to uphold the abrupt policy change falls to individuals and businesses.