President Trump urged Aramco, one of the world’s biggest firms, to list its stock on the New York Stock Exchange, as the Saudi Arabia state-owned oil company prepares for a massive IPO.
“Would very much appreciate Saudi Arabia doing their IPO of Aramco with the New York Stock Exchange. Important to the United States!” Trump tweeted early this morning from Hawaii, where he stopped before his marathon tour of Asia.
Aramco is expected to go public sometime in 2018. Saudi officials have sought a $2 trillion valuation, which could raise enough money to help shift the country’s economy away from its fossil-fuel focus. The company has not disclosed where it intends to go public.
Going public on the NYSE could be a victory for Trump, who has courted Saudi Arabia heavily since taking office. In May, Trump announced a $110 billion defense deal with Saudi Arabia that would sell U.S.-made naval vessels, air defense systems and helicopters to the Middle Eastern kingdom. But analysts have observed little follow-through.
Experts are divided over whether Aramco is actually worth the $2 trillion valuation that it's asking for, but the company is still intensely profitable. Aramco produces more than 10 million barrels of oil per day, accounting for more than any other company and about 12 percent of the world’s supply. And Aramco has amassed substantial oil reserves.
Foreign oil companies are commonly represented on U.S. stock exchanges. The list includes BP, Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina, among others, according to the Natural Resource Governance Institute, an energy and minerals advocacy group. But energy firms also list on major stock exchanges in London, Toronto, Amsterdam, Brazil and Hong Kong.