U.S. Markets open in 2 hrs 11 mins

Saudi favours New York for Aramco IPO, also considers Toronto, London - WSJ

Oil tanks seen at the Saudi Aramco headquarters during a media tour at Damam city November 11, 2007. REUTERS/ Ali Jarekji

(Reuters) - Saudi Arabia is favouring New York to list state oil giant Saudi Aramco (IPO-ARMO.SE), while also considering London and Toronto for the prospect of floating the firm, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Saudi officials also talked to exchanges in Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai but are unlikely to pursue listing in those places, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The listing is the centrepiece of a Saudi Arabian government plan to transform the kingdom by enticing investment and diversifying the economy away from a reliance on oil.

Saudi officials expect the IPO to value Aramco at a minimum of $2 trillion (£1.61 trillion).

Saudi Arabian Oil Co, known as Saudi Aramco, was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)