Saudi Arabia’s oil producer, Saudi Aramco, is its crown jewel. And jewels ought not to be given away too freely. The company’s initial public offering was meant to be the centerpiece of a new economic strategy designed to wean the country off its dependence on crude oil exports. But rising oil prices could make that financially less necessary, especially as Aramco is fraught with political sensitivity. At the moment, Saudi Arabia needs all the money it can lay its hands on to replenish drained coffers. The kingdom posted a budget deficit of $79 billion in 2016, despite making deep cuts to public spending and pushing ahead with unpopular measures to reduce state subsidies. A quick sale of an oil giant would appear to help. Using the kingdom’s own claims of a $2 trillion valuation, just a 5 percent stake might raise $100 billion. Yet Saudi Arabia’s painful austerity drive […]