Economy

Hong Kong, London, New York shortlisted for Aramco IPO, Toronto out

Hong Kong, London, New York shortlisted for Aramco IPO, Toronto out

"These changes are required by the growth of the market and what global institutions tell us", Khalid al-Hussan said in a telephone interview from Riyadh.

- Updating the independent custody model (ICM) to improve qualified foreign investor access by providing more flexibility in trading limits.

The measures, which include the introduction of a market-making programme and steps to allow asset managers to aggregate orders, are meant to improve market access and efficiency, enhance liquidity, bolster investor security, mitigate risk and further align market practices with global best practices.

Implementing a market-making programme based on global best practices to enhance liquidity, facilitate orderly price formation, fortify the sukuk, bond and exchange-traded-fund markets, and pave the way for exchange-traded products and derivatives.

Both changes will take effect from 21 January. Reuters previously reported that China offered to buy 5 per cent of Aramco directly.

This could potentially cause instability in the stock price and make it hard for some investors to obtain the shares, given the company's limited float and the Saudi market's relatively small capitalisation of about US$450 billion at present.

Stocks To Watch This Week: NetScout Systems, Inc. (NTCT), DSW Inc. (DSW)
Claus Moller decreased its stake in Netscout Sys Inc ( NTCT ) by 25.05% based on its latest 2017Q3 regulatory filing with the SEC. Panagora Asset Mgmt Inc accumulated 25,513 shares or 0% of the stock. (NASDAQ:NTCT) to report earnings on January, 30.

According to two sources, Aramco could raise at least US$5 billion, backed by export credit agencies, in transactions on which Citigroup, Standard Chartered, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation are advising. He repeated this on Wednesday, but stressed he had received no word of any decision by authorities on foreign listing venues.

In November US President Donald Trump called for the IPO to take place in NY, while Prime Minister Theresa May has also lobbied directly on behalf of the London Stock Exchange.

Hussan said stock futures and options were expected to be introduced in 2020, after reforms to the clearing system. "This next generation of market improvements builds on and augments the reforms already successfully implemented by Tadawul in 2017 to improve market function, protect investors and further consolidate Tadawul's position as the leading market in the region and a global investment destination".

All types of foreign investor, including those owning stocks indirectly through swaps, now hold about 4.2 percent of the market.

"Regardless of the outcome, we are encouraged by the way we were able to unite key stakeholders from across the industry in this initiative", said Nick Thadaney, president and CEO, Global Equity Capital Markets at TMX Group said in an emailed statement.

The change also indicated the listing was moving ahead despite market speculation it could be delayed or totally shelved.


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