March 8, 2018 / 8:49 PM / a year ago

Saudi concerned about risks with New York IPO for Aramco - CNN

FILE PHOTO - Logo of Saudi Aramco is seen at the 20th Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference (MOES 2017) in Manama, Bahrain, March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/File Photo

(Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has concerns about the risks that oil giant Aramco would run by choosing New York as the venue for its $100 billion market listing, Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said in an interview with CNN.

"I would say litigation and liability are a big concern in the U.S.," al-Falih was quoted as saying by CNN. "Quite frankly, Saudi Aramco is too big and too important for the kingdom to be subjected to that kind of risk."

The government has said it plans to sell about 5 percent of Aramco, hoping to raise some $100 billion or more in what would likely be the world’s biggest initial public offering (IPO).

New York and London have long been the clear frontrunners to host the international leg of the flotation, alongside a Riyadh listing.

“The London Stock Exchange is one of the best in the world, it is well regulated and we respect it,” al-Falih said, according to CNN. “It has (a) great many companies, including in the oil and gas sectors.”

“As for the announcement of the second listing, it will be made in due course ... but New York continues to be looked at, London continues to be looked at, other exchanges are being looked at,” he added.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co, known as Saudi Aramco, was not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter

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