Saudi Arabia doubles down on SoftBank bet

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

"The 33-year-old crown prince went on to say that Saudi Arabia had agreed to buy $110 billion worth of U.S. weapons and signed investment deals worth billions more, some "$400 billion" in total, since Trump took office in early 2017, and described the deals as "a good achievement" for Trump.

In a discussion regarding the timing of the IPO, Mohammed bin Salman was quoted saying that he believes it will release by late 2020 or early 2021 and the price will be decided by the investors on the day. "Jamal is not killed and I refuse to believe he is killed...!" she wrote in a post which featured an old photo of Mr Khashoggi at a restaurant. "Because it will be huge".

Al-Falih first announced plans to list shares of Aramco in 2016.

Sen. Bob Corker, who chairs the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said he met personally with the Saudi ambassador to the United States to ask him about Khashoggi's whereabouts. Soon after, Aramco put the IPO on hold and instead started talks to buy a majority stake in local petrochemical giant Sabic, a deal potentially worth US$70 billion. "So you can not have 100 percent friends saying good things about you", he said.

The crown prince's intention to make Aramco public is an extension of his intention of diversifying the Saudi Arabian economy through the Saudi Vision 2030. "This is not right".

According to Prince Mohammed, the IPO's delay began in 2017 when it was clear that Aramco required to be pushed into petrochemicals. This announcement settles the projected date of the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the company, nearly two years after it was first announced by the crown prince that Aramco would be turned into a public holding.

The most recent statements on when the IPO would happen provided considerable room for maneuver.

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"We are ready to welcome the Turkish government to go and search our premises", he said.

Prince Mohammed has now given the company and its advisers a new deadline, requiring the completion of the Sabic and acquisition and a giant global share sale in less than three years.

He made the comments in response to a question whether Riyadh needed to pay Washington more for its security.

Britain said on Sunday it was "working urgently" to verify the "extremely serious" allegations surrounding Khashoggi, who has been critical of some of Prince Mohammed's policies and of Riyadh's intervention in the Yemen war. The state-owned company can pull it off easily due to its low debt, he said.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Twitter that if reports of his death were confirmed, "this would constitute a horrific, utterly deplorable, and absolutely unacceptable assault on press freedom". "It's part of the sovereignty issues that are stuck, unsolved, between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for the past 50 years".

"We are now above $300 billion, we're getting close to $400 billion".

For the past two years, Saudi Arabia has prepared to place up to 5 percent of its national oil company on the stock market. It (the financial package) will cover Bahrain's needs over five years. Officials said repeatedly the deal was "on track on time" for the second half of 2018, but said earlier this year it would be delayed into 2019.

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