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Finance minister says France will 'fight' TotalEnergies’ New York listing

France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire attends a meeting between French government and senior government officials in Paris. March 12, 2024.
France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire attends a meeting between French government and senior government officials in Paris. March 12, 2024. Copyright Ludovic Marin/AP
Copyright Ludovic Marin/AP
By Eleanor Butler
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A move to Wall Street is not in the best interest of the French people, says Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

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France will "fight" to keep oil and gas giant TotalEnergies from relocating its primary stock market listing to New York, the country's Finance Minister told BFMTV on Thursday.

"I am there to make sure that it doesn’t happen," said Bruno Le Maire. "It's an asset for France to have a large oil company like Total … It's important that we keep it here."

Le Maire also evoked the firm's fuel cap of €2 per litre, introduced last year to shield French consumers from rising energy prices.

The fact that Total was based in France played a crucial role in securing this agreement, said Le Maire.

CEO of the oil giant Patrick Pouyanne told Bloomberg in April that he was considering moving Total's primary listing to Wall Street.

The energy giant currently trades shares on Euronext Paris and counts exchanges in London and New York as secondary listings.

Pouyanne's proposal to relocate is partially driven by Europe's approach to tackling climate change.

Total has recently found it more difficult to obtain capital as European investment funds are turning away from fossil fuel projects.

Pouyanne told Bloomberg that oil and gas companies are not getting the support they need to slowly transition to a carbon-free energy system, as lawmakers stress the urgency of climate action.

"In Europe, instead of supporting the European companies who want to make this transition, even if it’s difficult, they look to us and say: look, you continue making oil and gas."

Total has also pointed out that 39% of its global shareholders are located in the US.

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