Home Economics In Aramco IPO pitch, Canada plays up its natural resources expertise

In Aramco IPO pitch, Canada plays up its natural resources expertise

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TORONTO (Reuters) – The Toronto Stock Exchange’s efforts to win a slice of the massive Saudi Aramco public listing plays up the country’s deep experience in natural resources as part of a broader offer to help the kingdom with its shift away from oil dependence.

In pitch documents obtained by Reuters, the TSX talks up “a customized regulatory environment for resource issuers”, its leading position in oil and gas equity capital raising, and strong trading interest from outside the country.

The Canadian pitch is also broader than just for a slice of the Aramco IPO. On several trips to the kingdom, the most recent in late March, TMX executives have been joined by senior executives from some of the country’s biggest banks, brokerages and other financial players as Canada Inc seeks a role in delivering the kingdom’s broader Vision 2030 plan.

One source directly involved in the Canadian pitch told Reuters they are focused on convincing the Saudis that Canada excels in 10 of the 12 areas they have targeted for development under that plan, including in mining and infrastructure. The source declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

“We feel that we have put TMX and Canada’s best foot forward and we continue to promote our strengths in pursuit of business opportunities in the region and around the world,” TMX said in a statement.

But its best chance of winning a part of the biggest IPO ever, expected to raise about $100 billion as early as next year, may lie in its geography and geopolitics, securities lawyers say.

While the exchange, owned by the TMX Group Ltd, is widely considered an underdog in a race that has also excited larger exchanges in London, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore its case could be bolstered by a recent change in U.S. law that allows those affected by the September 11, 2001 attacks to sue the Saudi government, they said.

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