Trump appeals for listing

WASHINGTON/KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia – US President Donald Trump publicly appealed on Saturday for Saudi Arabia to list national oil company Saudi Aramco’s shares in New York, intervening in a battle among the world’s top stock exchanges.

“Would very much appreciate Saudi Arabia doing their IPO of Aramco with the New York Stock Exchange,” Mr Trump wrote on Twitter. “Important to the United States!”

Trump did not say why he raised the issue at this time or whether he was responding to any information about the NYSE’s bid. But by describing the listing as a priority for Washington, he could help sway the Saudis’ decision.

The Saudi government, seeking to raise money as low oil prices strain its finances, plans to sell about 5 per cent of Aramco next year in a sale officials say could raise about $100 billion, making it the world’s largest initial public offer ever.

Saudi authorities have said they intend to list Aramco in Riyadh and on one or more foreign exchanges, setting off a competition among New York, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and other bourses.

An Aramco spokesman had no comment on Mr Trump’s tweet, while a spokeswoman for the NYSE declined to comment.

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