Aug 30, 2019

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.

Go deeper: British pound doesn't flinch ahead of possible no-deal Brexit

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
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U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

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Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to fewer than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.