Oil tanks at an oil processing facility of Saudi Aramco, a Saudi Arabian state-owned oil and fuel firm, at the Abqaiq oil subject.
Stanislav Krasilnikov | TASS by way of Getty Images
Saudi Arabia is in talks to sell 1% of state-backed oil big Saudi Aramco to a “leading global energy company,” the kingdom’s crown prince told a Saudi-owned news channel this week.
“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,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman mentioned in an interview on Saudi tv, in accordance to CNBC’s translation of his Arabic feedback.
“That will be a great deal to enhance the sales of Aramco in the country where this company (is based),” he mentioned. The prince didn’t identify the firm however mentioned it’s from a “huge” nation.
He additionally mentioned there are discussions with different companies, and a few Aramco shares may very well be transferred to the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund. Some shares could also be listed on the Saudi market as nicely.
The interview marked the fifth anniversary of the Saudi Vision 2030, a multi-billion greenback plan geared toward diversifying the nation’s economic system away from oil reliance.
Saudi Aramco was the world’s biggest IPO when it went public in December 2019, and listed round 1.5% of its shares on the native inventory alternate, the Tadawul.
The preliminary public itemizing 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 Saudi authorities owns greater than 98% of Aramco’s shares.
The crown prince additionally spoke about U.S.-Saudi relations in the interview.
He mentioned Saudi Arabia and the Biden administration disagree on solely a few points.
“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 mentioned, according to a Reuters translation.
Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman attends the forty first Summit of Gulf Cooperation Council in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia on January 05, 2021.
Royal Council of Saudi Arabia | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
“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,” he mentioned, in accordance to Reuters.
The prince, who’s the kingdom’s de facto chief, was snubbed by the U.S. earlier this 12 months when the White House introduced that President Joe Biden will likely be engaging with his counterpart, King Salman, instead of speaking to the crown prince. It was half of a recalibration of U.S.-Saudi relations after the kingdom loved good relations with Washington below the Trump administration.
The U.S. additionally released an intelligence report in February that pointed to the crown prince as the one who authorised an operation to seize or kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a sturdy and outspoken critic of the Saudi royals.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken imposed visa restrictions on 76 Saudi people “believed to have been engaged in threatening dissidents overseas, including but not limited to the Khashoggi killing.”
— CNBC’s Mila Latoof and Michael Awad contributed to this report.
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