Trump Urges Aramco to List in New York Exchange

SAUDI-DESERT-OIL-ARAMCO

U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he boards a helicopter at Yokota Air Base in Fussa, on the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017.

Trump's tweet, sent hours before he was set to depart for an 11-day tour of Asia, came out of the blue for Aramco, according to a person familiar with the company, who asked not to be named.

President Donald Trump, who arrived in Japan on Sunday, said he spoke with the king of Saudi Arabia about listing national oil company Saudi Aramco's shares in NY and that "they will consider using USA exchanges". He said they had not been considering it because of "litigation, risk and other risk". He added: "It's very important".

The president's intervention threatens to increase pressure on Riyadh, which is keen to improve relations in the United States and could be swayed by his description of the listing as a priority for Washington.

The president tweeted Saturday morning that he would "very much appreciate" that the Saudis would list Saudi Aramco in the USA, saying it is "important to the United States!"

Aramco, which controls Saudi Arabia's massive energy assets, plans to list almost five percent of its shares on the stock market.

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Trump has developed a close relationship with Saudi Arabia.

The company told the Financial Times yesterday: 'A range of options for the public listing of Saudi Aramco continue to be held under active review'. However the state-owned oil giant's finances have always been opaque and there's reportedly concerns that a public listing in NY or London, for example, could bring with it unwanted scrutiny and demands for transparency by shareholders.

Mrs May and London Stock Exchange boss Xavier Rolet met with the company's boss Khalid Al-Falih in April when they pressed home the advantages of bringing the listing to London, which is facing competition from rival financial centres including NY.

The Aramco IPO is expected to be the largest in history, raising around $100bn in revenue for the Saudi kingdom. So I would like them to consider the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq.

Saudi Arabia has posted $200 billion in deficits in the past three fiscal years due to the slump in global oil prices.

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