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UK To Provide $2B Loan Guarantee To Saudi Aramco

The UK Treasury is finalizing a $2-billion loan guarantee for Saudi Aramco just as Britain is trying to lure the Saudi oil giant to pick London for the international venue of what would be the world’s largest IPO ever, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.  

A Treasury spokesman was quick to deny that the credit guarantee had anything to do with London’s bid to attract Aramco’s IPO.

Earlier today, a UK Treasury spokesperson told the FT:

“We will be providing Saudi Aramco with support in the form of credit guarantees to procure from the UK. This builds on previous support for UK exports as part of Saudi Aramco joint venture projects.”

The Treasury has confirmed that it was in the stage of finalizing the credit guarantee with Aramco via the governmental department UK Export Finance (UKEF), after having conducted due diligence.

According to sources familiar with the planned deal who spoke to the FT, the loan guarantee was a “desperate” attempt from the UK to get Aramco’s IPO, and the timing of such deal was “suspect”. 

London is competing (mostly) with New York for hosting the international listing of 5 percent of Saudi Aramco. But the Saudi oil giant has not picked a venue yet, and speculation over the past two months suggested that the Saudis may opt for a private placement instead, or even delay the IPO.

Related: Is U.S. Biofuel In Jeopardy?

While top Saudi officials have been quick to confirm that the listing “is on track for 2018”, London’s bid to host the IPO has been a curious one since the beginning, because—under current rules—any company wishing to opt for a premium listing needs to list at least 25 percent of its shares. So the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) aired the idea of changing the rules for Aramco in July.

Last month, the head of the FCA admitted that the watchdog met with executives from Saudi Aramco several months prior to its proposal to change the listing rules for the London Stock Exchange to accommodate the oil giant.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com  

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  • TJ on November 09 2017 said:
    This is a joke. Saudi has barely any oil left. What they are pulling from the ground is 98% watered down.
    Hence the invasion of neighboring countries.

    I wouldn't touch Aramco ipo with a ten foot pole. Why do you think they are finally going public now? They're broke and infighting amongst themselves. Saudi royals are finished.. That country will be in full scale civil war by this time next year.. And these Royals won't be around..

    This all sounds like a good time for Israel to poke Iran in the eye, which will drag ignorant citizens from u.k, can, france, and u.s into a major ground war.. Which will probably kick off in the next 6 months.

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