London’s last chance to win $2 trillion Aramco prize

Crown Prince Mohammed’s visit gives UK Prime Minister Theresa May a final opportunity to have London Stock Exchange chosen as venue for huge sale. London is running out of time to win a share of the greatest prize in oil. Saudi Arabia must decide soon where to list its crown jewel state oil company Aramco, if it’s to meet the schedule for an initial public offering (IPO) in 2018. The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is a front-runner to play host to the world’s largest single producer of crude but faces stiff competition from New York and Hong Kong. The pressure will be on the government of Prime Minister Theresa May to woo Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his current visit to the UK. Capturing the listing, which could value Saudi Aramco at $2 trillion, would bolster London’s importance as a global financial centre at a time when the Brexit decision to leave the European Union has seen its status challenged. As part of the UK’s charm offensive, the government agreed to a $2 billion loan guarantee for Aramco and the Financial Conduct Authority may alter its listing rules on ownership of state companies for the IPO on… continue reading

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