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When the Saudi Aramco IPO lands in New York City, it's going to be the biggest IPO of all time.
Saudi Aramco is the world's biggest oil company and is owned by Saudi Arabia. And when we say massive, we mean it: The company has 261 billion barrels of oil in reserves. That's nearly 10 times Exxon Mobil Corp.'s (NYSE: XOM), more than all of North America's oil reserves put together, and the equivalent of about 20% of the entire planet's oil reserves. It pumps out 10.3 million barrels per day — twice as much as its closest competitor Rosneft, Russia's state-owned producer.
But the Saudi government is preparing to sell the company and list it on the New York Stock Exchange. Reuters reports "serious discussions" between the Saudis and NYSE representatives are underway, with the objective to "complete the IPO sometime in 2018," said Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Juberi.
"Saudi Arabia has been reluctant to sell a percentage of its crown jewel company because doing so requires revealing important information about the country's oil fields that have been held in secrecy until now," Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors explained to readers.
Saudi officials have said they expect the IPO to value Aramco at $2 trillion.
If the market agrees, selling just 5% of Aramco shares to the public would raise $100 billion.
Here's what this massive IPO would look like relative to the biggest IPOs in history…
CHART: Look at How Massive the Saudi Aramco IPO Is Going to Be
The NYSE is the largest and most liquid exchange in the world and is no stranger to global giants. For instance, it welcomed Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) back in 2014, which was, at the time, the world's biggest IPO. Aramco would be another high-profile win for the exchange and would notch another hole in the "biggest" belt.
First, let's take a look at the biggest IPOs in history without Saudi Aramco:
Now, assuming the $2 trillion IPO will sell even a modest 5% of its shares to the public, here's how it would compare:
As you can see, Aramco would blow current record holder Alibaba out of the water, raising four times as much as Alibaba did on Sept. 8, 2014.