Saudi Aramco throws $69 billion to acquire Shaji Industries
Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco has reduced crude oil shipments in July for at least five Asian customers. Earlier, Saudi Arabia raised its official oil price in July, the highest increase in 20 years.
Saudi Arabia’s crude oil pricing is usually announced around the 5th of each month and will determine the pricing trends in Asia for other Gulf oil-producing countries such as Kuwait, Iraq and Iran. Saudi Aramco's pricing has affected the Middle East crude oil that is shipped to Asia with a daily output of up to 12 million barrels.
The sharp rise in oil prices in July really surprised oil refiners, especially those in Asia. In the previous three months, Saudi Arabia’s oil supply was very cheap. At the time, Saudi Arabia kept oil prices low to increase market share, but demand fell sharply during the epidemic.
R Ramachandran, head of the BPCL refinery in India, said, "We are surprised by the increase in official sales prices, which is not attractive to refiners, especially in markets with low refining margins." As oil prices have risen sharply, at least A major Saudi crude oil buyer in Asia reduced its July supply by nearly a third. Other refineries in Asia may purchase arbitrage oil at more competitive prices from the United States and West Africa, reducing the supply of crude oil from Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.
And last Sunday, Saudi Aramco completed the acquisition of a majority stake in the petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) on the Saudi stock market, totaling $69.1 billion, buying more than 2 billion shares of the company. Saudi Aramco signed an agreement in March 2019 to buy 70% of the shares of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation from the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund. The price at that time was equivalent to US$69.1 billion in Saudi riyals. The acquisition is part of Saudi Aramco’s preparations for going public. At the end of last year, the company was successfully listed in the public hope.
Earlier, there were media reports that Saudi Aramco may postpone the acquisition due to the plunge in oil prices. There have even been reports that Saudi Aramco may seek to renegotiate prices because the market value of Saudi basic industries has plummeted by 40%. However, the prices of these stocks purchased last Sunday are the same as those originally agreed.
This may bring additional financial burden to Saudi Aramco, which has not been spared from the impact of the oil price crisis. Earlier Reuters reported in May that Saudi Aramco will pay its major shareholder the Saudi government about $75 billion in dividends, but it does not have enough cash to pay the dividend.