“The Stone Age did not end for lack of stone. The Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil.” — Ahmed Zaki Yamani, former Saudi oil minister

(Dec 2): In ancient India, there were jewels that were so well concealed that treasure hunters missed them even when they were staring at them. The treasure hunters were distracted by stones.

The hype on the Aramco listing is the modern equivalent of this quest. Investors are transfixed by the scale of the Aramco IPO. Saudi Arabia’s oil major is issuing 1.5% of its stock at a valuation range of US$1.6 trillion ($2.2 trillion) to US$1.7 trillion. At higher end of this range, the size of Aramco’s issue would exceed Alibaba Group Holding’s record IPO in 2014.

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