HKEX chief executive Charles Li believes that the world’s biggest IPO candidate, Saudi Aramco, will choose Hong Kong for its international listing
Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, is a Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company based in Dhahran and its market value has been estimated at between $14 trillion and $21 trillion.
Despite the current trade war between the US and China, the Arab company seems certain of its choice. Charles Li Xiaojia, chief executive of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, said: “The potential trade war between the US and China would change the relationship between the two economies. It will be a tough time for the stock market”.
“I am confident Saudi Aramco will choose to list in Hong Kong eventually” said Charles Li Xiaojia.
“I am confident Saudi Aramco will choose to list in Hong Kong eventually. Even if it doesn’t come on day one, I am confident it will list here later,” he said.
Saudi Aramco is expected to launch the largest IPO in history, raising up to US$100 billion in a listing that would give the state-owned energy behemoth a valuation of US$1 trillion to US$2 trillion.
To give life to this new partnership, executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and then-HKEX chairman Chow Chung Kong met Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the ministers of energy and finance in December.
The advantages for Aramco are essentially two: mainland China is a major oil consumer; and the location of the city in an Asian time zone is another advantage for investors.
Li is also optimistic that many unicorns will list their dual-class shares here after Xiaomi becomes the first to do so through its huge IPO next week.
“The listing reform in April was the largest in 25 years in Hong Kong. We may have a party to celebrate the listing of Tsingtao Brewery which was the first H-shares listing in Hong Kong 25 years ago, together with Xiaomi which is the one weighted-voting company to list here” said Li.
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