British PM invites Saudi Aramco to list shares in London

April 05, 2017 | Economics & Markets, Middle East, North Sea & Western Europe

London, UK |  –  UK Prime Minister Theresa May pitched London as a listing destination for Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering during her trip to Saudi Arabia, a UK government official said, as she seeks to promote Britain as a financial centre after Brexit.

May met Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, who also heads state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co, said the official, who asked not to be named as the meeting was private. London Stock Exchange Group CEO Xavier Rolet was also present at the meeting on Tuesday.

Aramco is considering listing venues in the U.S., UK and Asia, in addition to Riyadh, and is planning to choose local banks to advise on the Saudi listing, people familiar with those plans said in February. The sale could value Aramco at more than $2 trillion, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said.

An Aramco listing would be a boost to London, helping politicians make the case that the UK is open for business and remains a financial hub even as it leaves the European Union — and its single market. In her discussions in the Middle East, May spoke of the UK’s depth of expertise in financial services and the supporting ecosystem of accounting and legal services, the official said. The prime minister also pitched Britain’s investment opportunities.

May and Rolet also met with the Saudi Public Investment Fund on Wednesday, according to the UK government official. The meeting covered a high-level overview of UK investment opportunities with PIF Managing Director Yasir Al-Rumayyan.