China said to pitch HK listing, funds for Aramco

Winning the listing for Aramco would be a boost for Hong Kong's increasingly popular stock exchange, which traded about $34bn in IPOs last year

Aramco hasn’t mandated financial advisors and may choose Saudi Arabia as the sole listing venue.
Aramco hasn’t mandated financial advisors and may choose Saudi Arabia as the sole listing venue.

Chinese officials have pitched for a dual listing for Saudi Aramco that would put the oil giant’s shares on both the Hong Kong and Saudi stock exchanges, in return for anchor investments from Chinese funds, according to Bloomberg.

The proposal was made earlier this year and no decisions have been made, sources requesting anonymity told Bloomberg.

Winning the listing for Aramco would be a boost for Hong Kong’s increasingly popular stock exchange. The exchange had about $34bn in IPOs last year, surpassing the $30bn raised in the US, which traditionally has the largest volume of listings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

While Aramco may open a potential share offering to international investors, the kingdom’s crude reserves aren’t for sale, chairman Khalid Al-Falih said in an interview on Al Arabiya television last month.

One option the world’s largest crude oil producing company is considering is an IPO for part of its downstream and refining businesses, which could be valued at more than $90bn and raise $5bn to $10bn, the sources said.

The company hasn’t mandated financial advisors and may choose Saudi Arabia as the sole listing venue, they said.

Aramco hired Deutsche Bank AG to advise on the potential acquisition of some marketing, retail and refining assets from China National Petroleum Corp, people familiar with the matter said last year.

Aramco is a strategically important asset for China. Saudi Arabia was the source of 16% of China’s foreign oil, its largest supplier in 2014, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Saudi capital Riyadh last month on his first trip through the Middle East since assuming power.

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