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Saudi Aramco, world's biggest oil producer, has announced that it will float its shares on Saudi Stock Exchange. news has been much anticipated by financial analysts around world. The flotation is causing lot of excitement among speculators worldwide. Saudi Aramco will allocate up to 0.5 per cent of its shares to individual investors. Experts say it could be largest IPO (Initial Public Offering) in history. Investors with deep pockets have between November 17 and December 4 to snap up shares in world's most profitable company. company is valued at up to $2.3 trillion. In comparison, its rival, US oil giant Exxon Mobil, has valuation of mere $300 billion.

Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser told CNBC news agency last week that company's IPO will help diversify Saudi Arabia's economy. Further share offerings may take place later on stock exchanges in Hong Kong, London, New York and Tokyo. Saudi Arabia is heavily reliant on oil and needs to seek alternative areas of growth. The IPO is part of ambitious plan to reform kingdom's economy called "Saudi Vision 2030". This is brainchild of Saudi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He hopes his initiative will revitalize many aspects of economy and society. The Crown Prince is spearheading development of range of non-oil industries, like healthcare, mining and tourism.

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