Saudi Aramco in 'serious discussions' with NYSE ahead of IPO
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Saudi Aramco is in "serious discussions" with the New York Stock Exchange as the world's largest oil producer explores where to list ahead of its IPO.

"Our objective is to try to complete the IPO sometime in 2018," Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Fox News."There are serious discussions with the New York Stock Exchange about having the NYSE be one of the exchanges for the Aramco IPO and I believe the decision will be made on the financial merits."

The state-owned oil behemoth is expected to be valued at around $2 trillion following its IPO, which could be the largest in history despite suggestions only 5 percent of the company will be floated.

However, some analysts have argued that the financial disclosure requirement of listing in New York would be unattractive to the Saudi company.

Fereidun Fesharaki, founder and chairman, of Facts Global Energy told CNBC that "New York is absolutely out due to regulatory restrictions".

"It is not a maybe, it is definite."

Saudi Arabia's state-owned firms are reportedly not in the habit of sharing information about their accounts and oil reserve and a Securities and Exchange Commission audit plus the greater scrutiny that would come with being a public company would not be welcomed.

Gal Luft, co-director of Washington-based think tank the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, called the IPO a "PR stunt".

"How can one establish a valuation for a company that has thus far kept its reserve data a state secret?" he said.

"Tearing a 5 percent piece of the company and throwing it into the market while the other 95 percent is a black box will not fly with prudent investors."


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