Aramco IPO not a factor in status upgrade

Aramco IPO not a factor in status upgrade
Saudi Aramco's IPO will not be a measure in MSCI assessment.
Published: 22 February 2018 - 10:10 p.m.
By: Jonathan Sheikh-Miller

Global index provider MSCI's forthcoming decision on whether to upgrade Saudi Arabia to emerging market status will not be dependent on its ability to handle the anticipated initial public offering (IPO) of oil giant Saudi Aramco, an MSCI executive told Reuters.

"It is not a factor," Robert Ansari, head of MSCI for the Middle East, told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Abu Dhabi.

"If the Aramco IPO happens, where it lists, what and how it lists is independent of what MSCI will do to classify."

The IPO is slated to be the biggest yet globally and could raise around $100bn after a 5% stake in the oil firm is sold off. But analysts have questioned whether the local Tadawul bourse would suffer severe instability once the Aramco shares were listed, as investors focused almost exclusively on the oil producer’s stocks.

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