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Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…

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Hong Kong Vying For Advisory And Hosting Role In Aramco Listing

Hong Kong’s stock exchange is vying for a position as an advisor to the Saudi Arabian team preparing for the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, paving the Chinese financial center’s road to become the host of the largest financial event of its kind in history, according to a new report by The Gulf Times.

Access to Chinese investors would make holding the $100 billion IPO in China desirable for the Saudis, according to Charles Li, the CEO of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing.

Saudi Aramco is expected to launch IPO in 2018, valuing the entire company at around $2 trillion. Selling 5 percent of it would fetch about US$100 billion, according to Saudi officials.

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For an IPO of that scale, it makes perfect sense to potentially be accessible by the very large capital base and investment wealth onshore in China,” Li said during an earnings briefing, emphasizing that it made sense for Aramco to have a listing in Asian markets.

The other stock exchanges in competition to host the IPO are Toronto, New York, London and even Singapore.

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Hong Kong is “working hard” to play a role in the Aramco listing, Li said, just as Saudi King Salman prepares for a world tour to promote foreign investments from Asia in his country. Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and China are all on the monarch’s itinerary.

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The KSA has already picked banking partners that would facilitate in the procurement of wealthy Chinese investors.

Aramco picked JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley to advise the company on IPO matters earlier this year. The company is has also been considering the United Kingdom’s HSBC Holdings among banks with access to Chinese investors, Reuters reported last Wednesday, citing a source with direct knowledge of the developments.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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