British spy-novel writers John LeCarre and Ian Fleming would have been flabbergasted these days, looking at the developing story surrounding the disappearance of Saudi dissident journalist Khashoggi. The current story-line, showing a possible involvement of Saudi security services, the Royal Court and possibly even reformist Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is however not looking anymore something like James Bond’s Skyfall, but more an intricate new novel by Tom Clancy, the US spy novel giant known for his character Jack Ryan.
The Aramco IPO saga continues, with the Saudi oil giant soon to enter the international financial markets for a $50 billion loan. International sources are reporting that the world’s largest oil company will look for around $50 billion from international banks, largely to be used to finance a majority stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).
High profile projects are not always reality, as the cancellation of the 200GW solar project of the Kingdom and Softbank are showing. After a media hype after the announcement of an agreement between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Japanese investment fund Softbank’s CEO Son in the USA, skepticism increased about the feasibility of the overall project.
Egypt’s success stories are currently impressive. The ongoing offshore Mediterranean gas adventures are presenting one success after the other. Italian oil major ENI, operator on the Zohr offshore gas field, and British oil major BP, flood the media with discoveries, on-time delivery of projects and new possible giant discoveries around the country. Egypt’s neighbors are also becoming heavily involved, as Cairo and Cyprus signed up to build an offshore gas pipeline connecting Cypriot gas fields with Egypt’s gas infrastructure and LNG export projects.
MAIN QUESTION: “WILL NW-EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS, BANKS AND HIGH-TECH COMPANIES ATTEND TOO?” The next weeks a media offensive is expected to be unleashed by US-Asian-Russian investment banks, institutional investors and high-tech companies vying for a share in Saudi Arabia’s ongoing economic diversification plans. Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will courted again by the “crème de la crème” of New York, Chicago, Hong Kong, Moscow, and London financial markets.