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The 1 Benefit of a Potential Saudi Aramco IPO

By Motley Fool Staff - May 8, 2016 at 2:24PM

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One of the most difficult things for investors in oil and gas is getting a handle on the value of state-run oil companies. When Saudi Aramco decides to go public, much of that could change.

In this segment from the Industry Focus: Energy podcast, Sean O'Reilly and Tyler Crowe talk about how, if Saudi Aramco is successfully listed on the New York Stock Exchange, SEC regulations could shed light on areas of the oil industry that have been shadowed for decades.

A full transcript follows the video.

This podcast was recorded on April 22, 2016. 

Sean O'Reilly: What do you think -- you see this valuation of $2.5 trillion for Saudi Aramco. Maybe that includes the reserves or not. Five percent of that would raise the country $125 billion. The whole number itself seems suspect to me, because oil prices are at the low 40s right now, and that's after rallying over 50% from $26-$27. Does that imply that the Saudi Aramco is worth $5 trillion 18 months ago? I don't quite buy that. Where are they getting this $2.5 trillion number? I seem to remember that from a year or two.

Tyler Crowe: You also have to take into account, too, that the numbers that are given on these aren't necessarily beholden to SEC regulations on how you evaluate reserves, how you evaluate property, and things like that. Perhaps once they do go public on the New York Stock Exchange they will have to disclose things like that.

O'Reilly: Right. Reserves and stuff.

Crowe: Maybe once that happens, we'll get a little clearer picture and transparency into a business that has been very opaque for a long time.

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