Rachel Reeves: Saudi Aramco listing risks "watering down" UK's reputation for corporate governance

Catherine Neilan
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Labour Party Conference - Day One
Reeves: We should resist any "race to the bottom" (Source: Getty)

A second MP has suggested she is against the Saudi Aramco megalisting coming to London, saying she is "sceptical" of the value it brings to the UK and warning it could "water down" the country's reputation for corporate governance.

Rachel Reeves, chair of the influential Business, Enterprise, Innovation and Skills (BEIS) committee, told City A.M. she was concerned that the controversial listing would not be in the interests of country as it would not boost jobs or the economy as a whole.

It would be "sending the wrong signal" as we leave the European Union, and we should resist any temptation to enter "a race to the bottom", the Labour MP said.

The debate over the FCA rule changes, which would allow state-owned companies like the $2 trillion-valued Aramco to qualify for a premium listing with less onerous disclosure and regulatory rules, is dividing the City. While the London Stock Exchange is in favour of the changes, the Institute of Directors (IoD) and Investment Association have come out against them.

Last month Reeves wrote a joint letter with Treasury Select Committee chair Nicky Morgan, calling on the FCA to explain more details of its proposals, including any influence exerted by Saudi Aramco.

Morgan told City A.M. earlier this month that she had some reservations about easing listing rules, saying: “Reputations are hard won and easily lost."

FCA boss Andrew Bailey is due to appear before Morgan and the rest of the committee tomorrow morning.

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