The New York Stock Exchange has emerged as the front-runner for the global IPO of Saudi Aramco — widely predicted to be the biggest initial public offering in history. But political, regulatory and legal challenges may discourage Riyadh from pursuing a U.S. listing, despite the commercial merits.
On the surface, the Trump administration appears to have reset relations with Saudi Arabia after the Kingdom announced a $200 billion investment program during deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman's visit to Washington earlier this month.
Riyadh called the meeting a "historical turning point" in U.S.-Saudi relations, and while that bodes well for stronger commercial ties in general, political perceptions, stringent U.S. disclosure rules and 2016 legislation allowing 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia may stand in the way.
The New York Stock Exchange declined to comment when contacted by CNBC about the planned the Saudi Aramco IPO.