British Prime Minister Theresa May proposed London’s stock exchange as the venue for state oil giant Saudi Aramco to sell its IPO, the U.K.’s Mirror reports.
May is competing directly with President Donald Trump, each leader trying to secure what could be the largest IPO ever recorded. May told reporters before a visit to Saudi Arabia she would be lobbying officials to secure the IPO for the U.K.
“I think London is extremely well placed, not only from its importance as an international financial center, also technically well placed in relation to Aramco,” May said according to the Mirror. “[On an earlier visit,] we met a number of ministers and obviously discussed the advantages that London has, and obviously it’s an issue I will continue to raise in my visit now.”
Trump personally lobbied Saudi King Salman in a phone call early in November. He said the U.S. wants “to have all the big listings,” but may miss out on Aramco’s “because of litigation risk, and other risk, which is sad,” Bloomberg reports.
Salman plans on earning the government about $100 billion off the IPO. The Saudi King hopes to diversify the Saudi economy while raising money for infrastructure improvements, according to Bloomberg.
The Saudi government’s decision will strengthen its relationship with whichever country ultimately gets the IPO, while raising tensions with the rest. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is lobbying Salman, and the Chinese are rumored to have also spoken with the Saudi king.
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