Top of the agenda.
When news broke in January that Saudi Arabia was considering an initial public offering of its state-owned oil company, the first reaction on Wall Street was shock. Then calls began pouring into Dubai - the Middle East’s financial hub - from senior bankers in London and New York.
Bloomberg News reports that investment banks around the world are clamoring to join what promises to be a bonanza, and not just the IPO of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Aramco, which could be valued at upward of $2tril. The kingdom is planning to sell hundreds of state assets to bolster its finances and reduce its dependence on oil. That includes as much as $15bn of bonds.
Saudi Arabia looks even more promising with investment banking in a global slump and Britain’s vote to exit the European Union set to deter deal-making for months to come.
“Saudi Arabia is close to the top, if not at the top, of the agenda for banks,” said Christopher Wheeler, a London-based analyst with Atlantic Equities LLP in London. “Where else is there at the moment?"
One banker told HITC: 'This is as good as it gets. Bagging a piece of the Saudi action is top priority for all investment bankers. These guys would step over their own mothers to get in on this. It's the only game in town'.
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