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oil company reportedly favors Tokyo over London, Hong Kong



The logo of the Saudi state oil giant Aramco.

Fayez Nureldine | AFP | Getty Images

Saudi Aramco considers Tokyo – rather than early favorites London and Hong Kong – as the international destination for listing its shares, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The first public offering of Saudi Arabia's state oil giant shares will take place over two phases: a move on the Saudi stock exchange later this year, followed by an international listing in 2020 or 2021

, the journal reported, citing advisers and officials with the plans.

Aramco's IPO, as it goes ahead, is expected to be the world's largest.

The company had been aiming to raise $ 100 billion by selling 5% of its share in the public markets, but it is not clear what the final amount will be, according to the report.

Many stock exchanges around the world have been alerted to Aramco's listing on its markets, and London and Hong Kong widely considered the front runners to get the deal. But political uncertainties facing the two cities – as a result of Brexit, Britain's imminent departure from the EU, as well as protracted protests in Hong Kong – have reduced their attractiveness, the report said.

Saudi officials and Aramco advisers told the journalist that while they lean towards picking Tokyo, no final decisions have been made and all options were still on the table.

CNBC reached out to Aramco to comment on the journal report, but did not immediately hear back. The company told the magazine that it "continues to cooperate with the shareholder on IPO preparedness activities." It added that it is "ready and the time will depend on market conditions and be at a time when the shareholder chose."

The Japan Exchange Group, which operates the Tokyo Stock Exchange, did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment. [19659002] Read The Wall Street Journal for the full report on Aramco's IPO plans.


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