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Financial Headquarters Of Total To Be Shifted To Paris From London

Financial Headquarters Of Total To Be Shifted To Paris From London
The chief executive of the French oil company Total, Patrick Pouyanné, has announced the company’s plans to move the cash of the company out of the United Kingdom after the onset of Brexit and shift its financial headquarters to Paris. This move by the petroleum giant reflects the confidence of the company in Europe.
Pouyanné said that the company has finalized its plans to shifting the company’s central treasury to Paris which was described by him as the “heart of Europe’s economic and financial system”. The company said that this move, which will include shifting of between 60 and 70 jobs, will be completed the end of the current year.
“Total will bring its cash back to Paris,” he told a financial conference in the French capital earlier this week. He later tweeted about the move on the social media platform saying that the decision was “a logical decision” since the UK had decided to leave the European Union.
According to analysts, the decision of Total to move its financial headquarters from the City of London will raise concerns about the potential of the City to continue to uphold its status as the most important financial centre of Europe compared to rivals such as Paris and Frankfurt.
The decision does not bring in much change from a legal point of view, Pouyanné said, and added that this decision of the company will also potentially send a signal to the wider business world that Paris is an attractive destination for businesses.
“I think it’s good that the big European groups show their faith in Europe,” he told delegates at the Euronext conference in Paris.
It was about six years ago that Total, which is listed in Paris and has market capitalization of €128 billion, had moved its financial headquarters to London so that the company could be closer to the most important investors, advisers and analysts of the oil and gas industry globally.
The company hoped to “get closer to London, which is the oil trading and financial centre of Europe”, Total had said when it had moved its financial headquarters to London. .
However since the Brexit referendum, continuous questions have been raised about whether the UK based companies will be able to retain unhindered access to the financial markets and centres of the EU. And the latest decision of Total also assumes importance because the company has decided to divert at least one-fifth of its investment into low carbon emission energy sources in the next 15 years and therefore access ot European financial centres is important.
The process of moving out of the UK had been initiated by Total early last year which the decision in September last year to shift its energy trading team, which comprised of about 200 staff, to Geneva form London. The team that is responsible for marketing its liquefied natural gas (LNG) and initially located in London was also moved to Paris from London to combine it with the LNG business that had been purchased by the company from the French utility giant Engie.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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