The Financial Conduct Authority has proposed a rule change that would allow potentially the largest company in the world, Saudi Aramco, to list on the London stock exchange.
The rule change would allow the oil giant to list in a proposed new category potentially with fewer transparency and reporting obligations than for companies with a typical premium listing.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) today launched a consultation on the proposals, which would create a category within its premium listing to cater for companies controlled by a sovereign country.
The plan has provoked criticism from some institutional investors who fear that accommodating Aramco will water down standards in London.
The state-owned firm is valued as high as $2 trillion and is planning to sell only around 5pc of its shares.
Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the FCA, said: “Refining the listing regime in this way would make UK markets more accessible whilst ensuring that the protections afforded by our premium listing regime are focused and proportionate.
“Sovereign owners are different from private sector individuals or companies – both in their motivations and in their nature.
“Investors have long recognised this and capital markets are well adapted to assess the treatment of other investors by sovereign countries.”
Report courtesy telegraph.co.uk