The decision announced by the Saudi government to take its national oil company public has generated a lot of interest given the size of Aramco and the fact that it would become the largest publicly traded company on earth.

It has also become a contentious issue within Saudi Arabia, where skeptics and critics of the decision have been rather vocal. International observers have discussed the potential valuation and the merits of different listings (NYSE, London, and Asia) and the potential success or lack thereof. And while there has been skepticism regarding whether the government will really allow transparency into its crown jewel, Saudi commentators have generally taken what can best be called a 1960sā€™ nationalistic attitude toward the IPO, griping about selling the national patrimony to foreigners, an attitude I find as logical as the pro-Brexit arguments in Britain.

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