Saudi Aramco's valuation reportedly off by $500 billion, or roughly Amazon and Netflix combined

Key Points
  • Mohammed bin Salman, deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia, has said Aramco is worth $2 trillion.
  • But the company's valuation might be closer to $1.5 trillion, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing internal documents and people familiar with the matter.
  • That $500 billion gap is a little bit larger than the combined market valuation of Amazon and Netflix.
Saudi Deputy Crown Prince, Defence Minister and Chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs Mohammed bin Salman.
Fayez Nureldine | AFP | Getty Images

Saudi Aramco may not be worth $2 trillion, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the company's highly anticipated plan to go public.

Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has said that the company is set to be valued at $2 trillion. But sources told the Journal that officials working on Aramco's offering have not been able to draft a model that matches that figure.

Even accounting for a more favorable tax rate, the highest valuation that employees were able to come up with was about $1.5 trillion, the Journal said, citing internal documents it reviewed and people familiar with the matter.

If correct, that would mean the initial $2 trillion valuation figure is off by a little more than the combined market valuation of Amazon and Netflix. Alternatively, the $500 billion discrepancy is a little less than the market capitalization of Microsoft.

Saudi Aramco did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

Last month, Reuters said a survey found that fund managers and institutional investors expect the company to have a market valuation between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion when it sells 5 percent of its shares. Late March, Saudi Arabia gave Aramco a tax cut, which one analyst said could add about $1 trillion to the company's valuation.

Read the full report in The Wall Street Journal.

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