Should You Buy The Saudi Aramco IPO?

Should You Buy the Saudi Aramco IPO?

Imagine waking up in your posh high-rise penthouse facing the Red Sea. Above the bustling city hangs a giant artificial moon that livestreams images from outer space. You call for an automated flying taxi, and it carries you to your job genetically modifying humans to make them stronger. When you return home in the evening, you find that robot maids have made a thorough cleaning of the place. Later, you decide to step out for the night at one of the city’s many five Michelin star restaurants, followed by a visit to the robot dinosaur park.

Sound like science fiction? Maybe. But believe it or not, this is the future envisioned by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman Al-Saud. Everything I described above is lifted directly from his plans for a brand new city.

 

This “land of the future,” called Neom, is to be built on a Massachusetts-size area of barren desert along the Saudi kingdom’s northwest coastline. Its goal is not only to attract “the world’s greatest minds and best talents,” but also to lure international tourists and luxury travelers.

As ambitious (crazy?) as bin Salman’s plan sounds, it’s already moving forward. Bloomberg reports that the kingdom has awarded two Saudi construction firms with contracts to begin building housing for workers.

Altogether, the cost to bring Neom to fruition will run an estimated $500 billion—which has some investors sweating. This year the oil-rich kingdom’s budget deficit has widened further to around 7 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

So where does bin Salman, also known as MBS, expect to come up with this cash?

Do I even need to say it?

Saudi Aramco, World’s Most Profitable Company, Going Public at Long Last

It may be no coincidence that at the same time that construction starts on Neom, Saudi Arabia is finally set to sell shares of its national oil company, Saudi Aramco. Coincidence or not, the timing is interesting.

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