Saudi oil giant leans to New York for IPO

Hasan Jamali / AP

Saudi Arabia is leaning towards New York as the principal venue for the IPO of state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco, according to a detailed account in Reuters and a person familiar with talks in Riyadh.

The Saudi government plans to sell 5% of the company in an offering tentatively slated for 2018, and use the proceeds to help diversify its oil-dependent economy. London's stock exchange has also been heavily courting Saudi officials.

Why it matters: the IPO is likely to be the largest offering ever. The final decision rests with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. It has geopolitical ramifications, as the first attempt of one of the large Persian Gulf petro-states to right their fiscal ships by shifting their economies into technology and other sectors.