U.S. President Donald Trump urged Saudi Arabia Saturday to list its state-owned oil company on the New York Stock Exchange when the company goes public in what is expected to be the largest-ever initial public offering in which shares of a company are sold to investors.
“Would very much appreciate Saudi Arabia doing their IPO of Aramco with the New York Stock Exchange. Important to the United States!,” Trump tweeted from Hawaii, his first stop ahead of a 13-day trip to Asia.
Saudi officials have reportedly said the government intends to list 5 percent of the company’s shares on local and global stock exchanges in 2018 but have yet to select an overseas venue. Saudi officials have estimated the IPO will be worth about $100 billion.
The NYSE has had discussions with the Saudis about the upcoming IPO as has the London Stock Exchange. Exchanges in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Toronto and the U.S. are also soliciting portions of the public offering.
New York-based NASDAQ, which provides technology to Saudi Arabia’s exchange, has been leveraging that relationship in an attempt to win the listing.
Trump has developed a close relationship with Saudi Arabia. During his visit there last summer, he signed a $110 billion defense agreement with Saudi King Salman.
At a $2 trillion valuation Saudi officials have projected for Aramco, selling five-percent of the company’s shares would reap $100 billion.
The public offering of shares of Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer, is part of Saudi government plans to sell state assets as a recession slows Riyadh’s effort to eliminate a budget deficit caused by low oil prices.