Saudi Aramco declares $1.71 trillion valuation in world's biggest IPO

Saudi Arabia on Sunday put a value of up to $1.71 trillion on energy giant Aramco in what could be the world's biggest IPO, but missed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's initial target of $2 trillion.

Saudi Arabia's crown jewel Aramco on Sunday set an indicative share price between 30 and 32 riyals ($8-$8.53) for the 1.5% of its shares it is due to offer in the domestic part of its public offering.

The oil giant has put a preliminary valuation of between $1.6 trillion and $1.71 trillion, short of the $2 trillion target set by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2016.

The company's initial public offering is part of bin Salman's Vision 2030 initiative to steer his country away from oil dependency.

The floating of Aramco shares in bigger markets such as New York, London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong remains uncertain at the moment.

The bigger question for now, however, is whether Aramco will be too big for the Saudi Stock Exchange, Tadawul, to negatively impact it.

Since oil prices plummeted from $115 per barrel in June 2014 to below $30 per barrel in January 2016, some investors view crude oil as a risky commodity in an oversupplied market with the large influx of U.S. shale.

Saudi Arabia is one of the many oil-producing countries that have been hurt by a low price environment in recent years.

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