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Hong Kong is still hoping to convince Aramco to make its secondary listing on the city-state’s stock exchange, the chief executive of the city has said.
Several years ago, when the Saudi government first announced it would partially privatize its state oil major, Hong Kong was among the candidates for the secondary listing of the company along with London and New York.
Aramco debuted on the Saudi stock exchange in December 2019 and became the most valuable company in the world as the listing valued it at $1.7 trillion, which rose to $1.9 trillion on the first day of trading.
Although there were plans for a dual listing, these got changed eventually as it became clear that, for the primary listing, Aramco would need to rely mostly on local and regional investors as international interest in the listing failed to live up to expectations.
“Saudi Aramco’s businesses are very diversified with its different subsidiaries. I will try my best to encourage them to come to Hong Kong for participation, including listing in the city,’ Hong Kong’s John Lee told the South China Morning Post.
Indeed, Aramco didn’t stop with just its own listing: three of its subsidiaries were also made public in the years since their parent’s listing.
“With our pool of professionals and free flow of capital, Hong Kong has been a popular destination for sovereign funds and companies [for listings],” the Hong Kong chief executive also told the daily.
The latest of the Aramco listings, of its refining unit Luberef, raised $1.3 billion and was the biggest listing on the Tadawul exchange in 2022.
John Lee’s visit to Saudi Arabia aims to boost bilateral trade and investment flows in a bid to deepen their trade ties, the chief executive of Hong Kong said on social media.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com