“I never thought I’d see this in my lifetime…If I had tried to get such a gathering together back then, they would have shut it down. But now this is a forum for everyone. And I couldn’t be happier. Sometimes I get a customer who complains about the music, or mixing, but I just tell them things have changed.”

-Saudi coffee shop owner Monira Salman Quaratah, who hosted on Thursday a women’s empowerment forum that drew more than 15 local and foreign women to speak to a new foundation, Saudi Women Stories. [The Guardian]



Saudi Aramco Officially the World’s Biggest IPO, Raises $25.6 Billion

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi Aramco sold 3 billion shares at 32 riyals ($8.53) each in its IPO, raising $25.6 billion, making it the world’s biggest IPO.

The IPO values Aramco at roughly $1.7 trillion, making it the most valuable publicly traded company in the world ahead of Apple, which is worth about $1.15 trillion. It also soared past the previous record IPO, China’s Alibaba when it made its 2014 public debut. [more]



Saudi Aramco IPO proves a hit with small investors

Via Frank Kane in arabnews.com : Samba Capital, the lead manager for the record-setting share sale, announced that 5.06 million individual subscribers bought shares in the offer, spending nearly SR50 billion ($13.3 billion). Most of them did so online, or via the special ATM arrangements for the IPO.

Saudi, Russia win over oil producers to deeper cuts

Via Shadia Nasralla in reuters.com : Saudi Arabia and Russia won backing for deeper output cuts from OPEC and allied oil producers on Friday as they look to head off global oversupply in 2020 and sustain prices.

Saudi Arabia into the final of the Gulf Cup after defeating Qatar

in arabnews.com : A tiny handful of Saudi fans were present in Qatar Thursday to see their side’s hard-won 1-0 Gulf Cup semifinal victory over the hosts whose supporters dominated the cavernous Al-Janoub stadium.



Aramco IPO

Saudi Aramco raises $25.6B in world’s largest IPO

The country's oil company Saudi Aramco sold 3 billion shares at $8.53 each, valuing the company at $1.7 trillion as it received total bids of...[By Daniel Uria via upi.com]


Saudi Government

Understanding the Key Government Institutions and Ministries in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Certain Ministries and government entities have been allocated key roles in the implementation of Saudi Vision 2030, and as part of the implementation of the...[via shearman.com]


Saudi Stock Market

IHS Markit and Tadawul Plan Partnership to Develop Data Services and Indices for Saudi’s Sukuk and Bonds Market

Through the partnership, market data from Tadawul will be connected with the bond pricing expertise at IHS Markit and, in turn, construct and administer benchmark...[via tadawul.com]



Saudi Binladin Leadership Overhaul Slows $15 Billion Debt Revamp

Saudi Arabia’s biggest construction company overhauled its top management, delaying plans to appoint an adviser for a proposed $15 billion debt restructuring, people familiar with...[By Nicolas Parasie and Matthew Martin via bloomberg.com]


Saudi Oil

Factbox: Saudi Aramco – the oil colossus

Explorers from the Rockefeller family’s Standard Oil Company struck oil in Saudi Arabia in 1938. The venture became known as the Arabia American Oil Company...[By Saeed Azhar via reuters.com]



Saudi Arabia’s Jubeir says possible to calm Yemen situation ahead of settlement

Saudi Arabia's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said there is a possibility of calming the situation in Yemen as a prelude to...[via kfgo.com]



Perspective: ‘It’s a free country now’: Saudi Arabia touts new openness

“It’s true I wouldn’t have done this a while ago,” said Rayan, 17. “Because the would have found me. Now I’m not worried...[By Martin Chulov via theguardian.com]


History Project

Misk to illustrate Saudi history through animation

Manga Productions is an affiliated company of Prince Muhammad Bin Salman “Misk” Foundation. It focuses on producing animations and developing video games with creative and...[via com.sa]


U.S.-Saudi Relations

Opinion: Why the State Department rejected a plan to train Saudi intelligence

Officials are upset, for example, that Saud al-Qahtani, a close adviser to the crown prince named by the Treasury Department as an organizer of the...[By David Ignatius via washingtonpost.com]



Cars & Coffee, Saudi Arabian Style

The first thing Danny noted was that the Saudis absolutely love American domestics. And judging by the extraordinary turnout of Chevy, Ford, and Mopar cars and...[By Naveed Yousufzai via speedhunters.com]



Iraq cleric calls for new premier without foreign influence

“We hope the head of the new government and it’s members are chosen within the constitutional deadline and according to the aspirations of the people...[By Samya Kullab and Murtada Faraj via apnews.com]


U.S. Military

U.S. military could add troops to Middle East, but struggles to explain plans

The United States military struggled on Thursday to explain its plans for potential increases in U.S. forces in the Middle East amid concerns Iran could...[By Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart via reuters.com]


Iran Nuclear Agreement

Iran Faces Tougher Stance From Europe Over Nuclear Deal Violations

France, Britain and Germany will ratchet up pressure on Iran in coming weeks by triggering a dispute mechanism if Tehran continues its prohibited moves away from...[By Laurence Norman via wsj.com]



Assessing US policy toward Iran

In the aggregate, Tehran is able, despite the maximum pressure campaign, to deter an assault on Iran by threatening to inflict substantial damage on the...[By Kenneth Katzman via atlanticcouncil.org]



France to convene meeting to mobilize support for Lebanon

France plans to convene a meeting of an international support group for Lebanon on Dec. 11 to mobilize assistance for the country as it grapples...[By Tom Perry and John Irish via reuters.com]


ME Startups

Middle East innovation: These four startups are making their mark

"The Middle East was late to the first, second, and third industrial revolutions. This time, it must be ahead of the curve," Khalid Al Rumaihi,...[By Damian Radcliffe via zdnet.com]



With the Help of Russian Fighters, Libya’s Khalifa Haftar May Soon Take Tripoli

All this may sound like good news to Haftar, who, for the first time, could conceivably take Tripoli. But the battlefield advantages that come with...[By Frederic Wehrey via foreignpolicy.com]


Israel in the Region

Netanyahu’s annexation of Jordan Valley already a reality, say Palestinians

With their water already stolen by Israeli settlers and facing legal discrimination, residents say any formal move will make little difference...[By Qassam Muaddi via middleeasteye.net]



Archaeologist launches private bid to retrieve priceless Egyptian treasures from European museums

Egypt’s famed archaeologist and a former antiquities minister, Zahi Hawass, is launching a campaign for the restitution of treasures from Europe’s leading museums. “I am...[By Martin Bailey via theartnewspaper.com]


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