National oil giant Saudi Aramco announced Monday a decline of nearly 12% of its net profit for the first half of the year compared to last year, during a communication exercise extremely rare for this state-owned enterprise extremely secretive who is aiming for an IPO.
"The company's net profit was $ 46.9 billion for the first half (of) 2019, compared to $ 53 billion for the same period last year," Saudi Aramco said in a statement. , citing a decline in oil prices.
"Despite the drop in oil prices in the first half of 2019, we continued to record strong results and significant cash flow," said Amine Nasser, CEO of Aramco, quoted in the statement.
After this publication, extremely rare for the Saudi giants very discreet on its accounts, the group must hold a little later in the day its first post-results conference call of its history, during which it should provide investors with details on his accounts and his projects.
In a context of increased transparency and search for opportunities for its huge crude oil production, Aramco will also buy 20% of refining and chemical operations of the Indian conglomerate Reliance for $ 15 billion, announced Monday in Mumbai the Indian boss of Reliance, Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in the country.
Saudi Aramco had already announced in early April considerable profits for 2018, which made the Saudi oil giant the most profitable company in the world with $ 111.1 billion in annual profit.
This figure was nearly one-third higher than the five supermajors: the US ExxonMobil and Chevron, the British BP, the Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell and the French Total. It was almost double that of Apple ($ 59.3 billion for its lagged year 2018), a listed company that makes the largest profits in the world.
- IPO -
This publication, the first since its nationalization in the 1970s, was made during a bond issue intended to finance part of the acquisition of 70% of the SABIC petrochemical group, for $ 69.1 billion. .
The decline in Saudi Aramco's profits for the first half of 2019 comes at a time when speculation is running high on a potential IPO of the group in an international financial center, an operation already postponed in the past.
In June, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in an interview that Saudi Arabia remains committed to selling up to 5% of the national oil giant in the financial markets, but only at the "right time", evoking a window of opportunity. introduction between the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021.
The operation could raise up to $ 100 billion and is the cornerstone of a broad program of reforms envisaged by the prince to diversify the economy of the kingdom, which depends mainly on black gold.
The group did not mention Monday the Aramco stock market in its statement, for which the stock markets of New York, London and Hong Kong are in the ranks. Originally scheduled for 2018, it had been postponed due to adverse market conditions.
To prepare for its first stock market, Ryad has implemented a number of key procedures including a law on taxation of hydrocarbons, the appointment of a new Board of Directors of Aramco and the authorization of an independent audit of oil reserves of the kingdom, said Mohammed bin Salman in April.
Aramco also opened its accounts for international rating agencies for the first time and became a public company by share, according to the manager.
In a context of increased transparency and search for opportunities for its huge production of crude oil, Aramco will buy 20% of refining and chemical operations of the Indian conglomerate Reliance for $ 15 billion, confirmed Monday the Reliance Indian boss, Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in the country.
© 2019 AFP