Today’s Pickup: Saudi Arabia’s Aramco becomes world’s most valuable publicly-traded company

Saudi Arabia’s Aramco becomes world’s most valuable publicly traded company (Photo: Aramco)

Good day,

Amid skepticism on the market value of Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Aramco, the oil giant’s stock market debut on Dec. 11 was nothing short of spectacular, soaring to its 10% daily limit — a figure fixed by the controls governing first-day trading at the Saudi stock exchange. The stocks opened at $9.39, which was the ceiling it could hit on day one, as the initial public offering (IPO) came at the price of $8.53 per share. 

The stock value rallied again on the second day to put the company’s market value at over $2 trillion before losing some of its gains to hover just below the mark. However, Aramco has comfortably eclipsed the second-place company Apple in market valuation and is higher than the next top five oil companies put together — ExxonMobil, Total, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and BP. 

Did you know?

Solar and wind energy account for 7% of the world’s energy generation, a 100% increase from 2013. The International Energy Agency forecasts this figure to hit 35% by 2040. 


“CEOs are justified in their caution about the state of the U.S. economy. While we have achieved a competitive tax environment, uncertainty surrounding trade policy and slowing global growth are creating headwinds for business. Lawmakers should expand, not restrict, trade to help boost U.S. economic potential.”

— Joshua Bolten, president of the Business Roundtable, while commenting on the concerns with regard to the ongoing U.S.-China trade war. 

In other news

UK’s post-Brexit trade at risk as WTO’s top court shuts down

The court’s shutdown will leave the U.K. at the mercy of the EU in its trading relationship after the transition period. (The Guardian)

Chevron’s $11 billion write-down is a warning for the oil industry

This is a bad sign for the oil and gas industry, due to a combination of supply surpluses, low prices, the struggling business case for large-scale shale drilling and the looming threat of peak demand. (Oilprice)

Volkswagen parent acquires stake in self-driving startup

Porsche SE invests in Aeva, capping a year of autonomous sector moves. (WSJ)

German economists’ prediction for 2020: ‘It’s going to be a difficult year’ 

Though there isn’t a lot of optimism for 2020, economists believe unemployment rates will only rise slightly and consumers will continue to have strong purchasing power. (The Local)

Shipping industry sails into unknown with new pollution rules

Faced with imminent new global marine pollution rules, shipping companies and insurers are puzzling over the risks. (Reuters)

Final thoughts

Autoworkers have voted for a new four-year contract at Fiat Chrysler, which will prevent a strike the likes of the one that recently paralyzed General Motors for six weeks. The deal, which was approved by 71% of Fiat Chrysler workers, will provide more than 47,000 workers represented by the United Auto Workers Union a $9,000 signing bonus before the Christmas holiday. Members of the union will also get a 6% raise in wages over the contract’s length and two lump-sum settlements equal to 4% of their annual salaries. On average, this amounts to about $29,500 per worker over the four-year contract period. 

Hammer down, everyone!