Saudi Aramco IPO: Hong Kong stock market boss says "the talk will never stop" in pursuit of lucrative listing

Oliver Gill
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Saudi Aramco wants to list its shares on two stock exchanges (Source: Getty)

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEX) has not given up hope of wooing oil giant Saudi Aramco to list on its bourse.

HKEX chief executive Charles Li told Reuters today that "the talk will never stop" in an attempt to convince Aramco to list in Hong Kong rather than on frontrunner exchanges from New York and London.

Li has previously said Hong Kong could provide a gateway to investors from mainland China.

Saudi authorities are planning to float up to five per cent of the firm's stock in a dual-listing in Riyadh and a yet to be determined second location.

While the firm is understood to favour New York over London for its foreign listing, financial and legal experts have highlighted the City could be a less problematic option.

Read more: London Stock Exchange boss backs review of listing rules for Saudi Aramco

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is consulting on plans to allow state-owned companies like Aramco to qualify for a premium listing with less onerous disclosure and regulatory rules. Such proposals attracted criticism with the likes of the Institute of Directors urging regulators not to bend the rules for what would be the world's largest stock market float.

HKEX is currently consulting on proposals to allow companies to list on the exchange as part of dual-class listings.

Li said he expects the consultation to close “in the coming weeks” on rules that would also be attractive to Chinese firms seeking a greater degree of flexibility to float in more than one location.

Read more: IoD urges City watchdog against bending London IPO rules for Saudi Aramco

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