Speculations are rising that Saudi Arabia may stop making new investments in the US because of shifts in the American political landscape.
The Wall Street Journal in a report quoted informed people as saying that a main reason for Riyadh to re-evaluate its multibillion-dollar US financial strategy was the recent passage of legislation that could allow US terror victims to sue Saudi Arabia.
Another key reason, the Journal added, was the election of Donald Trump – “a vocal supporter of the bill”.
The report further quoted an informed source as saying that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund had already paused its US investments until they could figure out the implications of the bill and the new direction of the White House.
This comes as Saudi Arabian Oil Company, the world’s biggest oil producer better known as Aramco, is preparing to start public offering of its shares in 2018.
It is already expected to raise more than $100 billion in proceeds.
The prospect has set banks scrambling for a deal that could bring $1 billion in fees, the Journal added.
“While Saudi officials haven’t decided where to list the shares, bankers say the New York Stock Exchange is the best place to debut such a large offering,” the report added. It also emphasized that the related Saudi officials had been meeting with officials from numerous exchanges, including London.
Under a plan devised by the country’s deputy crown prince, Saudi Arabia is planning to offer a portion—likely 5% or so, say people familiar with the matter—of Aramco on public markets. Proceeds from the offering would be used to invest domestically and abroad, the Wall Street Journal added.
In June, the Saudi Public Investment Fund put $3.5 billion into ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc. At the same time, the kingdom’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with several top venture capital investors in Silicon Valley and indicated he planned to do more deals such as the investment in Uber.