Reliance, Aramco resume talks for 20% stake sale: Report

Both RIL and Aramco saw profits dip due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Reliance-Industries-RIL-Aramco-logo-PTI-Reuters Collage: Reliance Industries, Saudi Aramco logos | PTI, Reuters

 Reliance Industries Ltd shares have surged after a report stated that talks with Saudi Aramco have resumed over a proposed 20 per cent stake sale for an estimated $15 billion of value.

As per a report by ET Now, both companies have committed to the deal, with Aramco seeking a physical inspection of Reliance’s assets in India.,

Reliance operates the world’s largest petrochemicals refining facility in Jamnagar, Gujarat.

The deal had earlier been stalled over price concerns, with Aramco reportedly unwilling to pay pre-pandemic prices for a stake in RIL’s petrochemicals division at a time when global oil markets were wreaked by uncertainty.

“India offers tremendous growth opportunities over the long term and Aramco continues to evaluate new business opportunities with our potential partners,” Saudi Aramco said in an e-mailed statement to ET Now.

Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani told shareholders in July that the deal had been delayed due to “unforeseen circumstances in the energy market and the COVID-19 situation.”

RIL’s Q2 net profit dipped 15 per cent, with petrochemical revenue down 23 per cent from the year ago period, and refining revenue down 36 per cent. RIL’s losses, however, were partially offset by gains made by its telecom unit, Jio.

Aramco was even harder hit, with net profit down 45 per cent in the third quarter due to weak oil demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In 2019, Aramco was the world’s most profitable company.

The news comes as Saudi Arabia sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, announced a $1.3 billion investment in Reliance Retail, months after announcing a $1.5 billion investment into Reliance Jio.  

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