TMX Group CEO weighs impact of Saudi dispute
The head of Canada’s largest stock exchange says the country’s dispute with Saudi Arabia won’t prevent dialogue with Saudi Aramco regarding the oil firm’s highly-anticipated initial public offering.
“We don’t have [a dialogue] today, but it wouldn’t preclude a dialogue,” TMX Group Ltd. CEO Lou Eccleston told BNN Bloomberg in an interview Thursday.
“But we don’t have one and there’s nothing planned,” he added. “So it’s not really a relevant issue for us.”
TMX Group previously held talks with the state-owned oil producer to land a listing for its initial public offering, but Eccleston said Thursday there hasn’t been dialogue with Aramco for “a bit of time.”
The Financial Times reported Wednesday that Saudi Arabia’s central bank and state pension funds have instructed overseas asset managers to sell Canadian assets “no matter the cost” after Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland posted a tweet calling for the release of Saudi women’s rights activist Samar Badawi.
Eccleston said that while the TMX has spent a lot of time talking to their clients, they have not been in discussion with Ottawa regarding the dispute.
“For us, it’s about the market and not about whether we made money on an asset or not,” Eccleston said.
“We don’t focus on that. We focus on the market. And our goal now is to make sure that for whatever transactions happen, we can be a platform to help clients execute that.”
Eccleston also said he hopes to see a resolution between the two countries soon.
“Like any Canadian company that’s running a global business, it’s an unfortunate situation and we hope that the governments can reach a solution as quickly as possible.”