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Equities

TSE chief makes pilgrimage for massive Aramco IPO

Selling a Tokyo listing to the Saudis in person

 (placeholder image)
  © Reuters

TOKYO -- Tokyo Stock Exchange President Koichiro Miyahara has gone to Saudi Arabia to tout the benefits of listing on the TSE directly to executives of the state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil, or Aramco.

The battle for the much-anticipated initial public offering is intensifying as other bourses make their case. The TSE, a unit of Japan Exchange Group, sees Aramco as a feather in its cap for attracting more foreign multinationals. In Asia, it is vying with Hong Kong for a piece of the massive float.

Aramco is expected to decide where to list as soon as fall. The world's biggest oil company is said to be worth $2 trillion, and some expect it to sell off a roughly 5% chunk of itself worth around $100 billion. Beyond Saudi Arabia, such markets as the New York Stock Exchange are seen as likely places for Aramco to seek multiple listings.

The selection process has likely already gotten into full swing. This month, Aramco's IPO team visited Japan, where it apparently heard such pro-TSE arguments as the depth of the market's retail investor base.

Meanwhile, in China, government funds and state enterprises are reportedly considering investing in Aramco to encourage a Hong Kong listing.

(Nikkei)

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