Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu (first left) meets Saudi Aramco President and Chief Executive Officer Amin H Nasser (second right) at the LEAP 2023 technology conference on Feb 6, 2023. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu is seeking to attract Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Aramco to list in the Asian financial center, in a bid to promote financial cooperation and development between the two territories.
During his attendance at the LEAP Tech Conference in Saudi Arabia on Monday, Lee met with Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin H. Nasser to introduce Hong Kong’s unique advantages as one of the world’s leading international financial hubs, encouraging the oil giant and its units to participate in cooperation with Hong Kong at different levels.
Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said that the city will provide a full range of financial and professional services to Saudi Aramco, including assistance in listing in Hong Kong, handling capital arrangements and exploring investment opportunities
“Hong Kong is back in touch with the international scene. There will no longer be any restrictions on pandemic prevention. The city welcomes investment from all over the world and looks forward to more innovative companies locating in the financial center,” Lee said.
“The SAR government has introduced a series of unique new rules for startups, such as allowing those that have not achieved profits to list in Hong Kong. We will do our best to improve the existing rules to attract new technology companies to Hong Kong and to secure more business opportunities for the city,” he added.
Aramco listed on its home market Tadawul in December 2019. Prior to the listing, the company had been considering issuing more shares through a secondary listing in London, New York, Singapore or Hong Kong.
The SAR government will make efforts to promote the financial hub and explore more business opportunities for the city, according to Lee. He said that the city will provide a full range of financial and professional services to Saudi Aramco, including assistance in listing in Hong Kong, handling capital arrangements and exploring investment opportunities.
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing announced on Monday that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Tadawul Group Holding Company, the stock exchange operator in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The memorandum seeks to explore cooperation in a number of areas that will bring benefits to both organizations’ financial markets, including fintech, environmental, social and governance (ESG) and cross listings.
Lee said he wanted to make the most of his trip to the Middle East to promote Hong Kong and explore more business opportunities for the city, hoping to take this chance to consolidate Hong Kong’s role as a facilitator and participant under the Belt and Road Initiative.
After the visit to Saudi Arabia, Lee left for the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, and will stay there until Feb 11.
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