The Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has revealed that Saudi Arabia is in discussions to sell a 1% stake of the state oil giant, Saudi Aramco, to a leading global energy company.
This is as he also said that the kingdom is considering transferring the shares of Aramco to the Saudi’s sovereign wealth fund, a public investment fund, and listing some of its shares on the Saudi market as well.
This disclosure was made by the crown prince in a televised remark while speaking on Saudi owned news channel.
What the Saudi Crown Prince is saying
Salman in his statement said, “I don’t want to give any promises, but there’s a discussion for the acquisition of a 1% stake by a leading global energy company. That will be a great deal to enhance the sales of Aramco in the country where this company (is based),’’ as he did not name the company but said it is from a “huge” country.
He also said there are discussions with other firms, and some Aramco shares could be transferred to the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund. Some shares may be listed on the Saudi market as well.
The interview marked the fifth anniversary of a multi-billion-dollar plan, the Saudi Vision 2030, which is aimed at diversifying the country’s economy away from oil reliance.
On the US-Saudi relations, the crown prince during the interview said Saudi Arabia and the Biden administration disagree on only a few issues.
He said, “We are more than 90% in agreement with the Biden administration when it comes to Saudi and U.S. interests and we are working to strengthen these interests,” the prince said, according to a Reuters translation.
“The matters we disagree on represent less than 10% and we are working to find solutions and understandings … there is no doubt that the United States is a strategic partner.’’
What you should know
- It can be recalled that Saudi Aramco was the world’s biggest IPO when it went public in December 2019, and listed around 1.5% of its shares on the local stock exchange.
- The initial public listing raised $25.6 billion, and the company later exercised its “greenshoe option” to sell 450 million more shares, bringing the total size to $29.4 billion.
- The world’s biggest oil company by market value also paid a whopping $75 billion to its shareholders for the year 2020 even as the coronavirus pandemic affected its earnings.
- The Saudi government owns more than 98% of Aramco’s shares.