British officials have been told by Saudi counterparts London has a chance to secure the listing but only in 2019 at the earliest, according to the Financial Times, and sources told Reuters the kingdom was now focusing on a listing on the local exchange, or Tadawul.
"We are waiting for the reforms to be in place and to join MSCI and Aramco listing in Tadawul will be catalytic for that capital market as we bring global capital to the kingdom", he told the USA channel last week.
President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed has sent a cable of condolences to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, on the death of Prince Bandar bin Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. "He hailed Iraqi's victory [in the friendly match] and expressed his preparedness and commitment to expanding positive relations between Iraq and Saudi Arabia at different levels".
Instead, this large sector of Saudi Arabia's movers and shakers are living in fear and uncertainty.
The king's decision came from "his concern over combating corruption in all its forms aiming to protect the homeland and its resources, maintain public money and protect the integrity of the public employment", according to Saudi state media.
If MSCI grants Saudi Arabia emerging market status, it could be seen as a reason to push against an global listing, the sources close to the listing process said.
Preparatory work on the part of Aramco has also been slow.
In response to questions by the New York Times about the claims of abuse, an official at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC, told the newspaper: "All allegations of abuse and torture of those investigated during the anti-corruption proceedings are absolutely untrue".
The newspaper interviewed relatives, advisers, associates of the detainees, as well as Saudi officials, who denied the allegations.
Saudi Aramco said on Monday it was still reviewing its options for the initial public offering. Quoting British government sources, the daily said the Aramco IPO will most likely take place next year.
The tour is aimed partly at courting foreign investors. He has made it legal for women to drive and dropped official bans on them attending sports matches, but many have said the changes really serve to obscure the crackdown on dissent which has gone on in the meantime.