Saudi Arabia transfers more Aramco oil shares to wealth fund

AFP , Sunday 16 Apr 2023

Saudi Arabia has put a second four-percent chunk of shares of the Aramco oil giant, worth tens of billions of dollars, under the control of the country's sovereign wealth fund, state media said Sunday.

Saudi Aramco in front of the company s offices in Riyadh
In this file photo taken on December 5, 2019, a sign indicates the Saudi Aramco in front of the company s offices in Riyadh. AFP

 

The move, part of a campaign to open up the oil-rich kingdom's economy, follows a transfer last year of four percent of Aramco shares, estimated at the time to be worth $80 billion.

Authorities did not give a value for the latest shares, which have been moved from the world's biggest oil exporter to Sanabil Investments, a firm controlled by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) Saudi Press Agency said.

The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, billed the move as part of a push "to boost and diversify the national economy and expand investment opportunities", according to the report.

The shares of the mostly state-owned oil giant moved last year went directly to the PIF, one of the world's biggest sovereign wealth funds with more than $620 billion in assets.

Prince Mohammed said the latest transfer will "solidify PIF's strong financial position".

He also stressed that the state "will remain Saudi Aramco's largest shareholder following the transfer, with total ownership of (90.18 percent) of the company's shares," the report said.

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