Mon, Nov 06, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Trump pleads for Saudi oil company to list in US

‘VERY IMPORTANT’:Saudi Arabia’s state oil company is being wooed by US President Donald Trump to list on a US exchange, while other countries are also lining up as suitors

AP, NEW YORK

US President Donald Trump says he spoke to Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud about listing its massive state-run oil company, Saudi Aramco, in the US.

Trump yesterday told reporters as Air Force One flew to Japan that he wants Saudi Arabia “to strongly consider the New York Stock Exchange [NYSE] 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.”

“I just spoke to the king a little while ago, and they will consider it,” Trump said.

“It’s very important. We want to have all the big listings,” he added.

The president on Saturday morning tweeted that he would “very much appreciate” that Saudi Arabia would list Saudi Aramco in the US, saying it is “important to the United States!”

Saudi Arabia is expected to take a small portion of Saudi Aramco, which controls some of the world’s largest oil reserves, public sometime next year.

While it is expected to list its shares on Saudi Arabia’s own stock market, known as Tadawul, it is also expected 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.

London and other major cities with exchanges have also been vying for the international listing. However the state-owned oil giant’s finances have long been opaque and there are reportedly concerns that a public listing in New York or London, for example, could bring with it unwanted scrutiny and demands for transparency by shareholders.

The NYSE is the world’s largest stock exchange by market value, with more than US$21 trillion in market value of the companies listed there. Several other international companies have dual listings with the NYSE, including Chinese technology giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴), Japanese automakers Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co and European banks like Deutsche Bank AG and UBS AG.

While previous presidents have championed the NYSE’s role in international finance — former US presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush visited the floor of the NYSE during their presidencies — typically a president would not weigh into where a company would decide to list its shares, since that is a private company decision.

The flotation is part of a broad effort to raise Saudi Arabia’s profile and boost government revenue after a sharp drop in oil prices hindered its ability to pay for large infrastructure projects and subsidies that citizens have come to rely on. Saudi Arabia, like other oil-producing countries in the Persian Gulf, has been hurt by low global energy prices.

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