Wednesday, December 13, 2017

U.S., Japan Express Concern Over China’s Interest in Saudi Oil Giant

Officials urge international offering for Aramco, rather than selling a stake to Beijing, which they fear would boost its standing in Middle East

By Sarah McFarlane, Summer Said and Mayumi Negishi

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL - DECEMBER 14, 2017

The U.S. and Japan have urged Saudi Arabia to pursue an international listing for oil giant Aramco, fearing the possible sale of a stake to China would give Beijing too much sway in the Middle East, people familiar with the matter said.  Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Aramco, was slated to become the world’s largest-ever public offering, with a domestic and international listing next year. More recently, Riyadh has instead considered selling a private placement to a Chinese consortium of state-held entities, people familiar with the matter said.  U.S. and Japanese concerns come amid increased tensions in the region, where Saudi Arabia and its allies are facing off against Iran and Riyadh is dealing with domestic political turbulence.

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