Trump to Host Saudi Crown Prince Next Week

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HRH Prime Minister also extended sympathies to HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi's Bin Salman is believed to favor listing in NY, while officials, including Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, reportedly favor London. British government officials met with their Saudi counterparts during Prince Salman's visit to Britain last week.

He has a close relationship with Trump and his son-in-law aide Jared Kushner, who is seen as having given the green light for Prince Mohammed's rush to consolidate power in recent months.

London will compete with NY for the $2trn foreign flotation, along with a Riyadh listing.

The IPO will involve 5% of Aramco in what will probably be the the world's biggest initial public offering.

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King Salman also announced that an anti-corruption conference will be held in April at which combating corruption in privatisation programs will be discussed, the Saudi government website reported.

The Saudi government had targeted a market listing by the second half of 2018, but preparedness for the offering and also willingness for a simultaneous or sequential flotation on a foreign exchange had been questioned, the FT reported, citing sources.

A public offering overseas was meant, in part, to send a signal that the country was changing.

Now, others are said to be living in fear of what could be next. "That will be forced upon them".

Last year, Trump had visited Saudi Arabia on his first foreign trip as president.

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"Between December 31st and January 1st, there is no value lost for the kingdom", Mr al-Falih, a former Aramco chief executive, said.

Representatives for Aramco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Appropriate decisions will be made in due course".

"We are waiting for the reforms to be in place and to join MSCI and Aramco listing in Tadawul will be catalytic for that capital market as we bring global capital to the kingdom", he told the USA channel last week.

David D. Kirkpatrick and Stanley Reed contributed reporting from London and Andrew Ross Sorkin from NY.

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