By Dr. Theodore Karasik & Emmaline Ivy Johnson
June 3, 2016
This article was originally published by LobeLog
In recent weeks Saudi Arabia’s plan to grow the kingdom’s private sector has garnered much attention in the international press. Determined to save Saudi Arabia from its “addiction” to oil, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) recently announced Vision 2030, a strategic initiative that opens a portion of the kingdom’s state-owned oil giant—Aramco—to outside investors. Aramco, the world’s most valuable company, accounts for nine-tenths of national revenue, and state control is vital to the survival of the Al Saud ruling family. Only a small portion of shares, about 5 percent, will be open to prevent investors from seizing too much control. However, the IPO raises sensitive questions about transparency in the kingdom.
Dr. Theodore Karasik is the senior advisor to Gulf State Analytics (GSA). Emmaline Ivy Johnson is a contributor to GSA.