New York Reportedly Pulls Ahead of London in Aramco Listing Race for ‘Political Considerations’; Final Decision Rests with Crown Prince Mohammed

Despite a report in July that Saudi Aramco’s advisers have reportedly recommended London for the historic listing of the oil company, a new report now says Saudi Arabia favors New York in part because of the strength of the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

Reuters originally reported that US disclosure rules were a concern for Saudi authorities. London’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has proposed a rule change that would allow state-owned companies, such as Saudi Aramco, to apply for a special category of premium listing with less onerous disclosure and regulatory requirements. The move to do so drew criticism from the British press.

But a new Reuters report today says that despite the risks, Crown Prince Mohammed, with whom the decision rests, may choose to list Aramco on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for “political considerations,” given the longstanding relationship between Riyadh and Washington, the sources told Reuters. However, they added that financial and commercial factors would also play a role in the choice.

One senior industry source told Reuters that New York is “likely to be the favored option for the Saudi government and Prince Mohammad,” but noted, “All awaits on the final shareholder decision.”