Investors talk as they monitor screens displaying stock information at the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh in this November 12, 2014. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
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The exact dollar value of Saudi Aramco may be up for debate, but the listing of the world's biggest company will be priceless for the kingdom's markets.Whatever you think of the valuations involved – be it the $2 trillion once suggested by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman or the $400 billion estimate said to have been made by consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. – the offering has the potential to make waves in markets from Tokyo to Toronto.A sale of just 5 percent of Aramco could raise more than $100 billion, according to some estimates.Throw in the shortage of foreign participation in the Tadawul – overseas investors account for about 4 percent of ownership – and Saudi Arabia has little choice but to share the Aramco listing with at least one international partner.Aramco's listing would almost double Saudi Arabia's presence in the benchmark measure, which would be about 2.8 percent based on the Tadawul currently.Aramco's listing could also filter into the kingdom's financial system.
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