Aug 30, 2019 - Economy & Business

How Brexit and Hong Kong could influence the Saudi Aramco IPO

Turmoil in the U.K. and Hong Kong could influence where Saudi Aramco's massive international IPO listing happens, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The reporting shows how geopolitical upheaval is spilling into the high-stakes competition for what's likely to be — if it happens — the largest IPO ever.

  • Per the WSJ, Aramco is leaning toward Tokyo for the international portion of the IPO, which under one plan would follow a listing on the smaller Saudi exchange.

The intrigue: Saudi officials have reportedly cooled on the London Stock Exchange, which has wooed the Saudis for the lucrative placement.

  • The Saudis are "increasingly concerned about the regulatory uncertainty" that could arise from the U.K.’s planned exit from the EU this fall.
  • "An Aramco adviser said leaving without an agreement increased the chances that the U.K. would align its legislation with the U.S .— including the terrorism laws that have been an impediment to a New York listing," writes the WSJ.
  • The story also says that geopolitical turmoil in Hong Kong means the Saudis are leaning away from that exchange.

Aramco did not respond to a request for comment from Axios.

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