* Aramco could announce local listing plan next week * IPO is central to crown prince’s economic plans * If IPO raises over $25 billion, it will be a world record * Bourse rules allow bigger allocations to retail investors By Marwa Rashad, Tom Arnold and Hadeel Al Sayegh RIYADH/LONDON/DUBAI, Oct 17 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia is setting the stage for a blockbuster listing of state oil giant Saudi Aramco in Riyadh, relying on easy credit for retail investors and pushing rich locals to invest with cash held abroad to achieve a $2 trillion valuation target. The world’s largest oil firm could announce plans next week to float a 1%-2% stake on the kingdom’s Tadawul market before a possible international listing, launching an initiative that is central to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s economic diversification drive. If the state raises more than $25 billion, it would be the world’s biggest initial public offering (IPO), topping Alibaba’s 2014 debut. To capitalise on local interest, Aramco can take advantage of new market rules that allow issuers the flexibility to sell more shares to retail investors, likely exceeding the usual 10% seen in recent IPOs, two banking and one legal source said. A… Read full this story
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