Saturday, 19 January, 2019


Saudi Aramco plans to issue global bond

Saudi Arabia is the world's top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is the world's top oil exporter More
Conrad Doyle | 12 January, 2019, 02:42

"This certification underscores why every barrel we produce is the most profitable in the world, and why we believe Saudi Aramco is the world's most valuable company and indeed the world's most important", Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih said.

Saudi Aramco plans to tap the debt market in the second quarter to finance the acquisition of petrochemical giant Sabic, likely issuing its first ever worldwide bond and disclosing its accounts in the process.

Saudi Arabia, world's top oil supplier, announced that it would markedly slash oil supply in the recent two months.

Crude oil prices appeared headed lower Thursday after a USA report showed a lower-than-expected inventory draw, and also as trade talks earlier this week between China and the United States did not show a clear direction.

The plans for the bond, first reported by Bloomberg News previous year, came as the Saudi Arabian government reactivates a plan to sell shares in the company.

Mr Al-Falih reiterated Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's comments in 2018 that Riyadh is aiming for Aramco's initial public offering in 2021.

Analysts also distinguished themselves on Wednesday by recognizing the near-schizophrenic behaviour that has characterized crude trading of late: Matt Sallee, a portfolio manager who helps oversee $16 billion in energy assets for Tortoise, told Bloomberg, "Sentiment went from completely negative a couple of weeks ago to very positive right now; everyone's just focused on the Saudis and they seem quite determined".

No details have been released on the size of the potential bond sale yet, however, it is expected that it could rank among the biggest issued by a firm if Aramco finances a signifcant percentage of the Sabic deal with it. Al-Falih, however, dismissed that chatter saying that "It's not going to be anywhere near the number that's been rumored". In turn, the Public Investment Fund would obtain the money it had initially hoped to raise from the Aramco IPO.

Aramco has so far largely avoided bond markets, relying nearly exclusively on its own cash or bank loans. "We are serious about restoring balance to the market", Falih said at a press conference in Riyadh.

While crude oil prices fluctuate depending on news events, global politics, and market conditions, the demand for transportation fuel continues to grow steadily, worldwide, according to the company.

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