Macron tells Trump US tariffs are ‘illegal’, EU will respond

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks at a conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris on May 31, 2018. (Christophe Petit Tesson/Pool via Reuters)
Updated 01 June 2018

Macron tells Trump US tariffs are ‘illegal’, EU will respond

  • The phone call between Macron and Trump came after the US announced the steep metals tariffs would be imposed on the European Union, Canada and Mexico as of midnight.
  • French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Thursday that France will refuse to enter into trade talks with the United States while punishing steel and aluminum tariffs are in effect.

PARIS: Emmanuel Macron told Donald Trump late Thursday that tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union were “illegal” and that the EU would respond in a “firm and proportionate manner,” the Elysee Palace said.
The phone call between the French president and his US counterpart came after the US announced the steep metals tariffs would be imposed on the European Union, Canada and Mexico as of midnight (0400 GMT Friday).
Macron, who has forged a good relationship with the US president, spoke to Trump on the phone, urging him to take part in negotiations with the EU, China and Japan to strengthen the rules of the World Trade Organization.
He called the decision to impose tariffs a “mistake,” warning that “economic nationalism” would penalize everyone including the US.
Earlier Thursday Macron told journalists at the Elysee Palace that he deplored the American decision.
“I think this decision is a mistake in many ways because it responds to existing international imbalances in the worst way — by breaking up and creating economic nationalism.
“And nationalism is war. That’s exactly what happened in the 30s,” he added.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Thursday that France will refuse to enter into trade talks with the United States while punishing steel and aluminum tariffs are in effect.
“We refuse to negotiate under pressure,” Le Maire told reporters while en route to a Group of Seven meeting in Canada. And “being hit by the tariffs will not help us to open the door to any kind of negotiation.”


Saudi Aramco shares soar at maximum 10% on market debut

Updated 11 December 2019

Saudi Aramco shares soar at maximum 10% on market debut

  • Company is now world’s largest publicly traded company, bigger than Apple

RIYADH: Saudi Aramco shares opened at 35.2 riyals ($9.39) on Wednesday at the Kingdom’s stock exchange, 10 percent above their IPO price of 32 riyals, in their first day of trading following a record $26.5 billion initial public offering.
Aramco has earlier priced its IPO at 32 riyals ($8.53) per share, the high end of the target range, surpassing the $25 billion raised by Chinese retail giant Alibaba in its 2014 Wall Street debut.
Aramco’s earlier indicative debut price was seen at 35.2 riyals, 10 per cent above IPO price, raising the company’s valuation to $1.88 trillion, Refintiv data showed.
At that price, Aramco is world’s most valuable listed company. That’s more than the top five oil companies – Exxon Mobil, Total, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and BP – combined.
“Today Aramco will become the largest listed company in the world and (Tadawul) among the top ten global financial markets,” Sarah Al-Suhaimi, chairwoman of the Saudi Arabian stock exchange, said during a ceremony marking the oil giant’s first day of trading.
“Aramco today is the largest integrated oil and gas company in the world. Before Saudi Arabia was the only shareholder of the company, now there are 5 million shareholders including citizens, residents and investors,” said Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the managing director and chief executive of the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
“Aramco’s IPO will enhance the company’s governance and strengthen its standards.”
Amin Nasser, the president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, meanwhile thanked the new shareholders for their confidence and trust of the oil company.
The sale of 1.5 percent of the firm, or three billion shares, is the bedrock of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious strategy to overhaul the oil-reliant economy.
Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange earlier said it will hold an opening auction for Aramco shares for an hour from 9:30 a.m. followed by continuous trading, with price changes limited to plus or minus 10 percent.

The company said Friday it could exercise a “greenshoe” option, selling additional shares to bring the total raised up to $29.4 billion.
The market launch puts the oil behemoth’s value at $1.7 trillion, far ahead of other firms in the trillion-dollar club, including Apple and Microsoft.
Two-thirds of the shares were offered to institutional investors. Saudi government bodies accounted for 13.2 percent of the institutional tranche, investing around $2.3 billion, according to lead IPO manager Samba Capital.
The IPO is a crucial part of Prince Mohammed’s plan to wean the economy away from oil by pumping funds into megaprojects and non-energy industries such as tourism and entertainment.
Watch the video marking Aramco’s opening trading: