FCA woos Aramco with relaxed listing rules

Author: Lizzie Meager | Published: 13 Jul 2017

The UK’s financial services regulator has proposed relaxed listing rules for sovereign-controlled entities, a move many say is a direct response to Saudi Aramco’s planned initial public offering (IPO).

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) this morning announced plans for a new premium listing category for companies controlled by a sovereign entity. Under this new proposed framework, the requirement for a relationship agreement where a controlling shareholder is sovereign would be scrapped, as would be exempting such a shareholder from the related party rules.

IFLR reported in May on rumours the FCA was looking into amending its listing structure to attract larger international companies – Aramco was said to be the direct target of this strategy.

The state-owned oil company is currently getting ready for its IPO in 2018, expected to be the biggest in history, but has not yet chosen a location. Reports vary but the consensus is that...