Trump urges Saudi Arabia to list state oil company on New York Stock Exchange

President Trump issued a plea Saturday for Saudi Arabia to list its massive state-run oil company, Saudi Aramco, on the New York Stock Exchange.

Saudi Arabia is expected to take a small portion of Saudi Aramco, which controls some of the world’s largest oil reserves, public sometime in 2018.

While it is expected to list its shares on Saudi Arabia’s own stock market, known as Tadawul, it’s also expected to do what’s known as a dual listing with another stock exchange internationally. When Saudi Aramco goes public, it is expected to be one of the world’s most valuable companies.

London and other major cities with exchanges have also been vying for the international listing. However the state-owned oil giant’s finances have long been opaque and there’s reportedly concern that a public listing in New York or London, for example, could bring unwanted scrutiny and demands for transparency by shareholders.

While previous presidents have championed the New York Stock Exchange’s role in international finance — Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush visited the floor of the NYSE during their presidencies — typically a president would not weigh into where a company would decide where to list its shares, since that’s a private company decision.

In a tweet earlier Saturday, Trump touted the Labor Department’s release of data showing that the country’s jobless rate fell a notch last month to a 17-year low of 4.1%.

Despite the decline in the unemployment rate, there is little indication that workers are broadly benefiting with higher pay.

Friday’s Labor Department report said that average hourly earnings for all private-sector workers dropped a penny last month, to $26.53, after jumping 12 cents in September. Over the past 12 months, average pay for workers has risen just 2.4%, about the same middling pace as over the last three years.

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