Aramco IPO: PR-freak or an act of desperation?

MohammedSalmanSaudi Arabia has effectively muffled the question of it respecting the human rights within its borders, feeding the world mass media with the news of the Saudi government considering the sale of the shares in Aramco (IPO), its pearl in the crown, the petroleum giant, which is regarded as ‘probably the world’s most valuable company’. Analysts and journalists have spent lots of time and have gone to great lengths to raise the awareness of the public of the might of this royal enterprise, which is so large that its value cannot be estimated. So the mechanism has been triggered, Prince Mohammad bin Salman touted the Saudis as reformist and progressive only to later deny the news for all practical purposes. Now it is alleged that the said IPO concerns merely the oil refining part of the business, not the oil drilling, and it was the latter that fuelled the journalists’ figments of imagination.

The medial blurb on Armaco going public only served the purpose of reminding the world public opinion of the might of Saudi Arabia, whose authorities do not wish to be associated with beheading, Wahhabism, aerial bombings of Yemen or tacit support for ISIS. The ‘White ISIS’, as the Saudis are commonly referred to by Iranians, is in trouble, and it is not only its image that is tarnished; it is also a financial trouble. And the trouble is real. Continue reading