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“SAUDI ARAMCO: THE WORLD’S MOST VALUABLE IPO” – THE ECONOMIST

Zanny Minton Beddoes, Henry Tricks, Anton La Guardia, Chris Lockwood, and Edward McBride

The news that Saudi Arabia is planning to sell shares of Saudi Aramco, the secretive state-owned company that is the world’s biggest oil producer (and almost certainly the world’s most valuable company), roiled not only the energy industry but the geopolitical situation throughout the Middle East. The Economist gleaned this information in an exclusive interview with Muhammad bin Salman, the 30-year-old deputy crown prince who is the power behind the throne of his elderly father, and then did not waver in reporting about the implications of what many believe may be potentially the biggest IPO ever. The Economist assembled a team of editors, writers, and columnists to create a cover-story package that explored the considerable social, political, and economic stresses facing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at this point in its history. The journalists noted that the plummeting price of oil had severely affected the country’s economy, which relies on oil for up to 90 percent of its revenues, and that this downturn persuaded Prince Muhammad and others in the new generation of leaders to embrace and implement radical reforms to diversify and modernize the economy of the Kingdom’s heretofore closed society.

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Gerald Loeb Awards 2017