But more specifically, it was the impending Saudi Aramco initial public offering (IPO) that sent the most tongues wagging. Especially amongst the finance buffs of the City of London which has been shortlisted for the international portion of the state oil giant’s listing.
The flotation could be the largest in history and is a topic attracting not only the attention of British investors, but also of the U.K. parliament. James Slack, spokesperson for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May stated that the visit would usher in a new era of bilateral “relations focused on delivering wide-ranging benefits.”
But, Rachel Reeves, a Labour party politician and the chair of the Business Committee in the House of Commons, is less eager for London to pursue the listing.
“It’s easy to see why the City (of London) and highly-remunerated advisors cheerlead for this listing, but the U.K. currently has strict corporate governance rules and it’s vital these aren’t watered down in a bid to attract Saudi Aramco. This risks our world-class reputation for corporate governance and could ultimately damage the U.K.’s attractiveness to foreign investment,” she told CNBC via email.
Aside from discussions on the Aramco IPO, were headlines of the Saudi prince eyeing billion-dollar investment deals for the U.K. Wednesday evening headlines verified the success of the trip, boasting a goal of around £65 billion ($90.3 billion) of investment in the coming years.
May said in a statement: “This is a significant boost for U.K. prosperity and a clear demonstration of the strong international confidence in our economy as we prepare to leave the European Union.”