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At a $1.9 trillion valuation Saudi Aramco is the ‘largest IPO in the history of humankind’

A $1 trillion valuation doesn’t have the status it used to. Now $2 trillion is the new pinnacle of success.

At a $1.9 trillion valuation Saudi Aramco is the ‘largest IPO in the history of humankind’
A Saudi broker monitors the stock market at the Arab National Bank in the Saudi capital Riyadh on December 11, 2019. [Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty Images]

Apple was the first public company to surpass the psychologically important $1 trillion valuation mark back in 2018, and since then the company has floated around that range. But if Saudi Aramco’s IPO today is anything to go by, a $1 trillion valuation is no longer impressive. Saudi Arabia’s state oil company Saudi Aramco began trading on the country’s Tadawul stock exchange this morning, where its shares have shot up by 10% so far, giving the now-public oil giant a whopping $1.9 trillion valuation, reports the Financial Times.

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That puts it well ahead of other trillion-dollar public companies—of which there are only two at the time of this writing. Microsoft and Apple currently have a market cap of $1.2 trillion. With Saudi Aramco’s $700 billion lead, it doesn’t look like either of America’s tech giants will catch up soon. And given Saudi Aramco’s shares shot up 10% alone on their first day of trading, it’s possible the company will surpass a $2 trillion valuation in the near future, which is a goal of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

After the launch of the IPO today, Saudi Aramco’s chairman Yasir al-Rumayyan said, “The government was the only shareholder. Today, the company has more than 5 million shareholders. Today, all Saudi Aramco employees and every person in the kingdom has the right to be proud. This IPO is considered the largest IPO in the history of humankind.”

Of course, no one knows what the future holds for Saudi Aramco shares, but one thing does seem certain: A $1 trillion valuation doesn’t have the status it used to. Now $2 trillion is the new pinnacle of success.

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