City of London will disgrace and shame itself by changing its rules purely to tempt a controversial float of Saudi Aramco state-controlled oil business.
It shows and proves to what extent the government and City bow down to oblige the wishes of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia plans to float 5 percent of Aramco’s shares either in London or New York.
The City, so far, strict rules were refusal “premium listing” unless a 25 per cent of the stock is sold.
Financial Conduct Authorities proposed a “new premium listing category for sovereign controlled companies” which would cancel the previous rule. An authority which also does not speak much of its principals
Watchdog said: “aims to enable companies which may (be) the subject of major privatisation transactions to choose the higher standards of premium listing”.
The FCA denies the intention to smoothen the way for Saudis’ float only but could not name another company.
Saudi Aramco is one of the most secretive companies in the world and a short consultation process will last till October. The float is planned for 2018 and would be worth £77billion plus assuming a few arms’ deals.
Saudi Arabia insists on a “premium listing” only; New York has no restriction.
The float would be a huge benefit for banks, PR advisers and lawyers and the outcome of the decision does not need guessing.