Saudi Aramco to buy $15 bn stake in Reliance Industries

Saudi Aramco to buy $15 bn stake in Reliance Industries

/ Financial News / Tuesday, 11 August 2020 06:30

Saudi Aramco has revealed that it is working on a deal to buy a $15 billion stake in Reliance Industries Ltd’s refining and chemicals business.

State-owned Aramco is already a major supplier of crude to India. It bought chemical firm Saudi Basic Industries Corp. for $70 billion this year. On the other side, Reliance sells petroleum products such as gasoline to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia’s state oil giant wants to expand its global refining footprint in high-growth markets in a bid to achieve its aim of matching the production with refining outlets. The deal would help Aramco reach its goal of more than doubling refining capacity to between 8 million and 10 million barrels a day.

Aramco Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser told media persons that the company is still in discussion with Reliance. He is quoted to have said, “The work is still on. We will update our shareholders in due course.”

This news comes as Saudi Aramco’s profit plunged 73% in the second quarter of the year, as a slump in energy demand and prices due to the coronavirus crisis hit sales.

Aramco’s CEO, Amin Nasser, said the company will stick to plans to pay $75 billion in dividends this year as global oil demand is showing signs of recovery.

“We intend to pay the $75 billion, subject to board approval and market conditions,” he said.

Nasser told reporters he had seen a partial recovery in the energy market and a pick-up in demand as economies gradually open after the easing of coronavirus lockdowns.

“Look at China, their gasoline and diesel demand is almost at pre-COVID 19 levels. We are seeing that Asia is picking up and other markets [too],” he said.

“As countries ease the lockdown, we expect the demand to increase.”

All major oil companies have taken a hit in the second quarter as lockdowns to contain the coronavirus limited travel, which reduced oil consumption and sent prices tumbling to levels not seen in nearly two decades.

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