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Aramco To Spend $100 Billion In Capital Expenditures Next Year

Capital spending at Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company should pass $100 billion over the coming financial year, according to a top official at Aramco.

The announcement comes less than a year ahead of the firm’s initial public offering (IPO), which should auction off five percent of its shares for a hefty profit. The proceeds will be used to revamp the economy, making it less dependent on oil revenues in the future.

“Saudi Arabia still remains one of the most attractive markets for everybody, I think next year will offer a lot of opportunities as the market is improving,” Daniele Quintarelli, the CEO of Saipem, told Reuters.

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman originally conceived of the Vision 2030 plan that is currently being implemented. Over the weekend, his plans to reign in the Kingdom’s spending led him to order the arrests of dozens of ministers and princes.  The list of arrests includes names like Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, one of the most famous Saudi businessmen, and Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, former head of the Saudi National Guard.

It all started last week, when Bin Salman was granted control over a wide-ranging anti-corruption committee, and used his new power to consolidate his position. Eleven former ministers and dozens of Saudi princes were arrested or detained on charges of corruption, graft, or financial malfeasance. Most princes and princesses are currently prohibited from traveling, except with the permission of King Salman. Foreign money transfer also has currently been limited to $50,000 per month, with a two-month limit. 

Although short-term volatility could occur, overall stability and change inside of the Kingdom is to be expected, as Bin Salman and his supporters are holding not only the military and security forces in their hands, but have also gained the trust and support of the majority of the Saudis.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for OIlprice.com

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