Prime Minister May pitches UK listing for Aramco on Saudi trip

British Prime Minister Theresa May (R) attends a meeting with Sarah al-Suhaimi, CEO of the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) at the exchange in the capital Riyadh. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

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 Plc Chief Executive Officer Xavier Rolet was also present.

Aramco is considering listing venues in the US, 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.


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