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Aramco To List Shares In Hong Kong ‘For Sure’

Saudi Aramco is still studying the international venue for its IPO, but the chief of the Hong Kong stock market is certain that the Saudi oil giant will be attracted to list shares on the Asian bourse because of the chances to draw more Chinese capital, Chinese financial magazine Caixin reported on Monday.

According to Caixin, the chief executive of Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing, Charles Li, told reporters on Monday that even if Saudi Aramco picked another international market for its listing, it “will for sure” float shares on the Hong Kong market as well, due to the stock exchange’s access to mainland Chinese markets.

The preparations for Aramco’s IPO are under way, but no international market for the listing has been picked yet, Saudi Aramco’s chief executive Amin Nasser told the Al Arabiya Television channel on Sunday, reaffirming Saudi Arabia’s position that the listing will not be delayed, as recent reports have suggested.  

“Preparations are proceeding to the fullest extent for listing in 2018,” Nasser told the TV channel, as quoted by Reuters. 

“For sure, it will be listed in the Saudi market. As for other markets, a complete study was made,” Nasser added, saying that options were New York, London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong.

Related: Is China Heading Toward An Energy-Debt Crisis?

Now the study is under discussion, and this will take time, Aramco’s CEO said.

Most of the recent talk about Aramco’s international listing venue has centered on New York and London.

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Last week, Mark Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, said that Aramco was highly unlikely to list on the New York Stock Exchange, because of risk of litigation. But a listing in London is also questionable because transparency is essential for those who want to list on the LSE, and Aramco has been reluctant to share details about its operations despite a lot of declarations that transparency is very important for the company in view of its listing, according to Mobius.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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