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Monday, 12 June 2017

Listing rules are the least of Aramco’s governance risks

Listing rules are the least of Aramco’s governance risks:

"There has been a rush of recent stories about how America and Britain might cut Saudi Arabia some unwarranted slack to get its vast national oil company to float in either New York or London. Both venues are vying to win a slice of a public offering that is sometimes (if hopefully) said to value Saudi Aramco at $2tn. In New York, it seems to be a matter of overturning a law that permits relatives of those killed in the World Trade Center attacks to pursue Saudi Arabia with private lawsuits. In London, by contrast, the machinations are less about high politics than the mundane business of investor protection. They involve loosening the governance rules to shoehorn the Saudis on to the main market board. The story has ignited fears of another regulatory race to the bottom in which investors’ interests are sacrificed in the interests of making money for intermediaries. But while that’s certainly a genuine worry, it isn’t the biggest one when it comes to Aramco’s offering. Indeed, the listing rules may be the least of investors’ concerns."



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