Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tends to get his way in Saudi Arabia, so the mood in Riyadh on Saturday when a group of investment bankers rejected his wishes must have been frosty. He had wanted an initial public offering (IPO) to put a value of $2-trillion on Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, but they demurred.

The prince still runs the country and Yasir al-Rumayyan, chair of Saudi Aramco and head of the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, responded by calling off plans for a global IPO in favour of a local offering. Saudi Aramco will probably be valued at $1.7-trillion, but the prince’s vision of the IPO symbolising his country’s opening up to the world has faded.

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