1 thought on “Saudi oil – more changes”

  1. Having failed to sell Aramco shares in London, NYC and Hong Kong, MBS is now making last resort arrangements to sell them internally on the Saudi stock market and then force every businessman in the country with more than SAR 1 mn to buy them. He reckons he can sell at least 1% this way and then he will open offices in Europe, the US and the Far East for international investors to buy shares on the Saudi market. This is his plan. Floating Aramco like this means nothing is going to change and no secrets are going to be released but the alternative – making Aramco transparent – is totally impossible as it would mean depriving MBS of his money. He does not have a vision of Aramco being an international company. He only cares about the hundreds of billions he is going to raise. His aim is just to collect 1% of the $2 trillion which is what he claims Aramco is worth and he is going to use the IPO as a tool to force people to pay up and anyone who refuses will go to prison. al-Falih was fired not because he bravely tried to resist MBS’s plan but simply because he had no confidence it would ever work because when major international investors see all this if they ever once considered investing this is going to change their minds.
    Meanwhile MBS continues to help himself directly to the national wealth, whether oil revenue, our national foreign investments or from new borrowing. Around USD 300 bn has been taken from our foreign exchange reserves in the last 4 years and the national debt has jumped from SAR 40 bn to around SAR 600 bn – despite additional revenue from the high oil price, the confiscation of wealth from a huge number of royal family members and businessmen, the imposition of new taxes, and increases in the cost of services and utilities. All this and nobody has seen any increase in expenditure. Where did it go? The only explanation is MBS’s pocket. The reason he transferred Yasser Al Rumayyan to Aramco is because he does not want the revenue to pass through too many people’s hands and prefers instead to keep everything under one umbrella, plus Al Rumayyan is ready to pretend the IPO is a national investment when in fact it is for the benefit of MBS.

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