Aramco to continue sales of assets in next few years: report

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  • Aramco official says sales to continue irrespective of market conditions

  • The company calls sales a strategy meant to create value and efficiency

Saudi Aramco is planning to raise tens of billions of dollars by selling more assets in the coming years, a report said.

The largest oil company in the world had created a team to review its assets last year after the coronavirus pandemic led to a fall in energy prices and strained its balance sheet, Bloomberg reported.

Citing Abdulaziz Al Gudaimi, senior vice president for corporate development, the report said the sales will continue in the next few years irrespective of market conditions.

Gudaimi said Aramco aims to generate “double-digit billions of dollars”, calling it a “strategy meant to create value and create efficiency.”

“It’s not about a specific capital target or financing the dividends of the company,” Gudaimi told Bloomberg.

Aramco raised $12.4 billion by selling leasing rights over oil pipelines to a U.S.-led group of investors in April.

The company is reviewing what other infrastructure can be monetized and will start seeking investors for a second deal soon, Al Gudaimi said.

The report added that after being almost entirely closed off to foreign portfolio and private-equity investors since it was fully nationalized in the 1980s, Aramco is increasingly courting outside capital. It sold a debut international bond in 2019 to help fund a $70 billion acquisition of Saudi Basic Industries Corp., a chemicals maker. That was followed later the same year by an initial public offering in Riyadh, which raised almost $30 billion but failed to attract as much interest from international money managers as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was hoping.

Aramco is planning to sell a stake linked to its natural gas pipelines, Bloomberg has reported. It has subsidiaries and units involved in several other industries. They include power plants, an aviation company, a real-estate arm and an insurance firm.

Proceeds from the oil-pipelines deal and others will be used for “future growth projects,” he said. “We will continue unlocking value from our assets.” The asset review was planned before oil’s drop in 2020, Al-Gudaimi said.

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