Chinese investors in talks to buy Aramco stake: report

Chinese investors in talks to buy one percent stake in Saudi Aramco
2 min read
29 April, 2021
The report come after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said a 'leading global energy company' was in talks to buy a one percent stake in Aramco.
China's sovereign wealth fund is reportedly in talks with Aramco [Getty]
Major Chinese investors are in negotiations to acquire a one percent stake in Saudi Aramco, the majority state-owned energy giant, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Beijing's sovereign wealth fund, the China Investment Corporation (CIC), is among those considering purchasing a share of the world's largest oil producer, sources told Reuters.

Aramco is also in talks with Chinese national oil companies, sources said.

In a televised address this week, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Riyadh was in discussions to sell one percent of the oil giant to a leading energy company.

"There are talks now for the acquisition of a one percent stake by a leading global energy company in an important deal that would boost Aramco's sales in... a major country," Prince Mohammed said without giving further details.

A one percent stake in Aramco would be worth around $19 billion.

The crown prince and de-facto ruler also highlighted Saudi Arabia's "strategic" relations with China, Russia, and India in the speech, which was broadcast to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the kingdom's Vision 2030 initiative.

China's PetroChina, owned by the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), and Sinopec are two of the world's largest energy companies.

Aramco has been in talks with Chinese-owned companies for several years and the Chinese state equity fund is the most likely investor, a source within the CIC told Reuters.

Saudi Arabia is the largest supplier of crude oil to China.

Aramco first offered sales of its stocks to the public in 2019.

The Saudi oil giant, which is the world's second biggest public company after Apple, has been in search of international investors but sources told Reuters Aramco struggled to find interest in China before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

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