Trump speaks to King Salman about Saudi Aramco US listing

31 December 2017
US President says Saudi King will “consider” floating Aramco’s shares on the New York Stock Exchange

US President Donald Trump has revealed to a US media outlet about speaking to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz about listing Saudi Aramco on a US stock market.

“They [Saudi Arabia] will consider using US exchanges,” Trump reportedly told the media outlet.

Trump, who had earlier this year expressed his wish to see Aramco listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Twitter, is likely using the rising tide of Saudi-US diplomatic and socio-economic relations to make a case for Aramco floating a portion of its initial public offering (IPO) on the NYSE.

Saudi Aramco has stated it will list 5 per cent of its shares on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) and a foreign exchange, but has not made public which market that would be. It is assumed that the major global bourses of Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, London and New York are being considered by the Saudi leadership for the stock listing, with speculation being that the state energy giant might even list its shares on multiple overseas capital markets.

A number of international financial institutions and their respective governments have been pitching for a slice of the mammoth stock listing at their markets, valued at around $100bn by Aramco, including British Prime Minister Theresa May for a listing on the London stock exchange.

Key details about the stock listing of Aramco are yet to emerge, including what the actual financial valuation of the company will be. Aramco has estimated its financial value to be around a whopping $2 trillion, meaning a 5 per cent stock listing of the company could be the biggest ever IPO in history, although some Western institutional investors say Aramco’s worth is far less than its proclaimed value.

Saudi Aramco has already sought financial advice from key international banks and investment firms, to help it iron out the complexities related to the giant stock listing and help prepare for its share flotation.

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