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Trump says Saudi Arabia to consider listing oil company Aramco’s shares in New York

The Saudi government, seeking to raise money as low oil prices strain its finances, plans to sell about 5% of Aramco next year in a sale which could raise about $100 billion, making it the world’s largest initial public offer ever.

world Updated: Nov 05, 2017 11:00 IST
Reuters, Japan
Saudi Arabia,Aramco,Aramco’s shares
Visitors are seen at the Saudi Aramco stand at the Middle East Process Engineering Conference & Exhibition in Manama, Bahrain.(Reuters File)

US President Donald Trump, who arrived in Japan on Sunday, said he spoke with the king of Saudi Arabia about listing national oil company Saudi Aramco’s shares in New York and that “they will consider using US exchanges”.

The remarks were made aboard Air Force One en route to Japan, where Trump kicks off a 12-day Asian trip during which North Korea is expected to top the agenda in meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other leaders.

“Would very much appreciate Saudi Arabia doing their IPO of Aramco with the New York Stock Exchange,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “Important to the United States!”

Trump did not say why he raised the issue at this time or whether he was responding to any information about the NYSE’s bid. But by describing the listing as a priority for Washington, he could help sway the Saudis’ decision.

The Saudi government, seeking to raise money as low oil prices strain its finances, plans to sell about 5% of Aramco next year in a sale, officials say, which could raise about $100 billion, making it the world’s largest initial public offer ever.

Saudi authorities have said they intend to list Aramco in Riyadh and on one or more foreign exchanges, setting off a competition among New York, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and other bourses.

An Aramco spokesman had no comment on Trump’s tweet, while a spokeswoman for the NYSE declined to comment.

NYSE Group president Thomas Farley said at a conference in Riyadh last week that he had not given up on the IPO and was in talks with Saudi authorities.

The London Stock Exchange has also received some government support for its bid, although that has been less public. Prime Minister Theresa May and the chief of the LSE pitched investments in Britain to the head of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund on a visit to Riyadh earlier this year.

While Trump’s tweet named the New York Stock Exchange, it did not mention rival Nasdaq Inc, which is also vying for the Aramco listing.

First Published: Nov 05, 2017 10:58 IST