UK to give Saudi Aramco $2bn in credit guarantees
Britain’s finance ministry says move not effort to secure energy giant’s IPO for London
Britain will furnish credit guarantees of $2 billion to Saudi Aramco so it can more easily buy British goods and services.
Britain will provide $2 billion in credit guarantees to Saudi Aramco so it can buy British goods and services more easily, but denied it was part of efforts to persuade the energy giant to list its shares in London.
The loan agreement comes as London Stock Exchange, with backing from UK prime minister Theresa May, competes to host part of Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering (IPO), which is expected to be the biggest float ever. “This builds on previous support for UK exports as part of Saudi Aramco joint venture projects,” the government said in a statement.
A spokesman for Britain’s finance ministry said the guarantees were not part of the country’s attempt to secure the IPO for London.
The guarantees announced on Thursday were relatively big. Over the past five years combined, previous guarantees have totalled £14 billion, a government spokeswoman said.
Asked what specific projects the guarantees would back, the spokeswoman said Britain would work with the company to identify initiatives which could include British exports. Saudi officials have said domestic and international exchanges, including New York, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong, have been considered for a partial listing of the state-run firm. – Reuters