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>> Saudi Arabia's move to shelve what was billed as the biggest share sell ever is a major blow to the credibility of the kingdom's young crown prince. The public listing of state oil giant Aramco has been called off. It had been a center piece of Mohammed Bin Salman's plan, to diversify the kingdom's economy beyond an oil addiction.
And as the 32 year old ruler had hoped, to create a culture of openness in the secretive kingdom, making it more appealing to foreign investors. Reuters correspondent Stephen Kalin is covering the story in Riyadh. He says that despite the IPO being on ice, there are still other parts to the reform program.
>> Including scaling back government spending, boosting the private sector, opening up new sectors of the economy. So this is not the end-all be-all, it's not a death blow for the reforms, but it certainly will be a blow to the image of Saudi Arabia and the image of NBS.
>> It's not clear why the decision to pull the listing came now. For the past few months, there had been speculation that the IPO would be delayed indefinitely. And it had already been pushed back several times, the stock listing facing two problems from the very beginning. First was the valuation of the company, and second was where to list the company, with hurdles and legal challenges causing delays.
>> For now the major impact is likely to be on investor sentiment and confidence. The IPO has been a centerpiece of Saudi reforms for the past two years. And now that it's on the shelf, there are going to be questions about Saudi's commitment to its own plans.>> Prince Mohammed launched his Vision 2030 program with promises to fundamentally transform the economy.
But at the same time he's unnerved investors, with a harsh crackdown on dissent and spats with allies like Canada. The authority's pushing ahead slowly, with other reforms to attract foreign wealth.