London’s plans to bring Saudi Arabia’s Aramco state-run oil company to the London Stock Exchange have been hit following by the intervention of US President Donald Trump, who is stepping in to boost New York’s bid.
President Trump is using his close relationship with controversial Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman in a bid to win Aramco’s lucrative business for a planned part listing on a foreign stock exchange in 2018.
Trump tweeted he would “very much appreciate” if Saudi Arabia would list its state-run oil company Saudi Aramco, due to go public in 2018, on NYSE.
FCA rule change
This last charm offensive comes after, as reported, the UK’s financial services regulator the Financial Conduct Authority outlined controversial plans to change its rules to allow listings linked to foreign states such as the Aramco listing, that is only thought to be planning to allow 10 per cent of its total listing on a foreign stock exchange.
Trump, pictured above, also told reporters on Sunday as Air Force One flew to Japan that he wants Saudi Arabia “to strongly consider the New York stock exchange or Nasdaq or frankly anywhere else located in this country”. He said they had not been considering it because of “litigation, risk and other risk”.
‘Important to the US’
The flotation is part of the Saudi crown prince’s effort to raise Saudi Arabia’s profile and boost the kingdom’s government revenues after a drop in oil prices has halted payments to large infrastructure projects and subsidies that its citizens have come to rely on.
Saudi Arabia is expected to take a small portion of Saudi Aramco, which controls some of the world’s largest oil reserves, public some time in 2018. While it is expected to list its shares on Saudi Arabia’s own stock market, known as Tadawul, it has said that it also expects to do what is 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.
The news comes, as reported, amid further reports of arrests of nearly a dozen members of Saudi Arabia’s royal family by the young heir to his father’s throne.
While his father is ill, the crown prince bin Salman, pictured above left, is serious about modernizing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and has used the recent arrests to conslidate his position in the kingdom.
Saudi princes ‘detained’
The moves continued on Monday with reports of at least 11 Saudi princes and scores of current and former ministers and business officials were understood to be detained in Riyadh. While the exact charges against them remain unknown, they came just hours after bin Salman established a committee to combat corruption.
A royal decree on Saturday said the roundup was in response to “exploitation by some of the weak souls who have put their own interests above the public interest, in order to, illicitly, accrue money.”