‘Toronto Ex­change still le­git­i­mate con­tender’

New Straits Times - - Business -

TORONTO: The Toronto Stock Ex­change (TSX) says it’s still in the run­ning for part of the Saudi Ara­bian Oil Co (Aramco) list­ing, which could be the world’s largest ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing.

“Yes, we’re still in con­ver­sa­tions and yes, it’s still a pos­si­bil­ity,” said Lou Ec­cle­ston, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of TMX Group Ltd, which owns the ex­change, in an in­ter­view, here, on Wed­nes­day. “We con­tinue to pur­sue it. We are a le­git­i­mate con­tender.”

Saudi of­fi­cials have said they are look­ing to list as much as five per cent of the com­pany in Riyadh plus one or two for­eign ex­changes. It’s fiercely com­pet­i­tive, with Lon­don, New York, Hong Kong, Sin­ga­pore, Tokyo and Toronto all named as pos­si­ble can­di­dates.

“It’s very com­pet­i­tive be­cause it’s go­ing to be very ben­e­fi­cial to the mar­ket­place they choose,” said Ec­cle­ston, who joined TMX in 2014. Win­ners will ben­e­fit from fees as well as the pub­lic pro­file it would bring.

Woo­ing Aramco is part of a broader strat­egy ini­ti­ated by Ec­cle­ston two years ago. This in­cludes at­tract­ing more in­ter­na­tional list­ings and di­ver­si­fy­ing TSX’s tra­di­tional re­source base into new ar­eas, such as tech­nol­ogy and life sci­ences.

Last year, TMX was the top global ex­change for in­ter­na­tional list­ings and al­most 30 per cent of its to­tal rev­enue came from cus­tomers out­side of Canada.

In the first quar­ter of the year, it came third glob­ally for new list­ings, be­hind only Shang­hai and Shen­zhen. Bloomberg

TMX Group Ltd chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Lou Ec­cle­ston

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