The top of the Metropolis regulator has admitted assembly oil large Saudi Aramco over a possible £1.5 trillion itemizing on the London Inventory Alternate.
Andrew Bailey, chief government of the Monetary Conduct Authority (FCA), stated discussions with the world’s greatest oil agency had been held early this 12 months.
The regulator has been criticised for proposing modifications to itemizing guidelines to accommodate sovereign-owned firms.
MPs have warned about lax governance and political interference within the deal.
Mr Bailey stated: “We are able to verify that we held conversations with Saudi Aramco and their advisers in mild of their curiosity in a attainable UK itemizing within the early a part of this 12 months.
“We emphasised throughout these conversations that we had been reviewing the itemizing regime.”
Mr Bailey was writing in response to a letter from Nicky Morgan, chair of the Treasury Committee.
Saudi Aramco plans to listing 5% of its shares in London or on one other main inventory alternate, however UK guidelines state that greater than 25% of shares must be listed to cease a single shareholder having an excessive amount of affect.
Nevertheless, FCA proposals put ahead in January might permit for exceptions.
In a letter despatched final week in defence of the FCA’s ideas, Mr Bailey stated: “We don’t suppose protections for traders can be weakened.
“We’ve got beforehand made clear publicly that we’ll allow decrease percentages than 25%, the place the worth and distribution is such that there is usually a liquid market.”
Nevertheless, Ms Morgan stated that “questions stay in regards to the stage of political involvement within the session”.
“The UK’s world-class fame for upholding robust company governance mustn’t be watered down,” she added.
Her feedback come as the federal government seeks to exhibit that the UK is an effective place to speculate as Britain prepares to depart the European Union.
Rachel Reeves, chair of the Enterprise, Vitality and Industrial Technique committee, stated: “What might be good for Metropolis merchants just isn’t essentially good for the remainder of the nation’s economic system or traders.
“It isn’t in any respect clear how taking these steps will enhance jobs, funding or returns to traders within the UK,” she added.