TMX CEO says it is still in the running for Saudi Aramco listing

A darkened television studio is seen at the offices of TMX Group, which operates the Toronto Stock Exchange, after the company announced it was shutting down all markets for the rest of the day after experiencing issues with trading on all its exchange platforms in Toronto, Ontario, Canada April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's TMX Group Ltd X.TO is still in discussions with Saudi Aramco to get the oil company to list on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) as part of its highly anticipated initial public offering, expected to be the biggest IPO in history, TMX CEO Lou Eccleston said on Thursday.

Any slice of the Saudi Aramco IPO could raise TMX’s global profile and generate significant revenue. TMX has campaigned hard get Aramco to list on the TSX.

“I don’t think the door is ever closed,” Eccleston told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of TMX’s annual general meeting in Toronto.

“I don’t think wherever Aramco does initially list will be the only place ... I don’t think we’re ever out of the game,” he said, adding that TMX was “constantly talking to Aramco”.

Saudi Arabia is pushing forward with a massive economic reform plan known as Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to diversify the economy away from oil. Eccleston suggested that could be an opportunity for TMX, saying “there are hundreds of companies that are going to become public.”

Shares of TMX, which suffered a major outage that shut down its exchanges for a period of April 27, soared on Thursday after the company reported a stronger-than-expected profit. They were up 8.4 percent at C$80.49.

The Toronto-based company said it had not seen any change in market share after a major outage shut down its exchanges for more than two hours last month.

TMX has replaced permanent systems and was testing alternative technology to avoid future shutdowns, company executives said on a post-earnings conference call with analysts.

The company said it did not incur any material expenses in changing technology after the shutdown.

Reporting by John Tilak in Toronto and Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio