For nearly four years Saudi Arabia has been dangling the promise of offering investors a chance to buy into the world’s most profitable company. On Nov. 3, it made a significant step towards delivering as officials sought to put aside questions over Saudi Aramco’s valuation to formally announce the kingdom’s intention to list the state oil company.

The launch of the IPO process for Saudi Aramco in Dhahran was marked by a hard sell to Saudis who might be keen to have a slice of a national champion as well as foreign investors who are more skeptical about how Riyadh values the state energy company.

Amin Nasser, Saudi Aramco’s CEO, told reporters that an investment in the company was a unique opportunity. He emphasized the company’s access to some of the world’s most prolific oil reserves, low-cost barrels, as well as Saudi Aramco’s expansion plans into gas and chemicals. The company also lauded its low debt levels.

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