SGX 'still in running' for Aramco's IPO

Aramco's Abqaiq oil facility in Saudi Arabia. The oil giant's share sale could be the world's biggest initial public offering.
Aramco's Abqaiq oil facility in Saudi Arabia. The oil giant's share sale could be the world's biggest initial public offering.PHOTO: REUTERS

Saudi oil share sale: S'pore bourse CEO says it has as good a chance as other global markets

The chief executive officer of Singapore Exchange (SGX) said his bourse is still in the running to win a listing of shares of oil giant Saudi Aramco, in what could be the world's biggest initial public offering (IPO).

"We're as good as any other exchange," Mr Loh Boon Chye said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. "We stand as good a chance as any others.

"For global companies that have a significant global presence, listing beyond one venue allows for wider investor participation."

At least half a dozen exchanges including those in New York, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Toronto are vying for a slice of Saudi Arabian Oil Co's IPO. The head of the kingdom's local bourse said earlier this week it is aiming for exclusive rights to host the share sale.

The planned debut of Aramco next year is a key part of an ambitious plan that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman proposed to wean the kingdom off its economic dependency on oil. The government has said the sale of 5 per cent of the business could value Aramco at as much as US$2 trillion (S$2.7 trillion). Analysts have tended to give lower estimates.

New York Stock Exchange CEO Thomas Farley said on Thursday his bourse is still in talks with Aramco about its listing.

SGX's Mr Loh said his exchange had received interest from companies looking to list in part because of rules that allow dual-class shares on his market for secondary listings.

He wouldn't be drawn, however, on whether SGX will allow multiple share classes for primary listings. The exchange is considering "wide-ranging views" it received in response to a public consultation on the issue, he said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 28, 2017, with the headline 'SGX 'still in running' for Aramco's IPO'. Print Edition | Subscribe