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Saudi Arabia Transfers Aramco Stake To PIF To Boost Credit Ratings

The Saudi government has transferred a 4-percent stake in Aramco to the Kingdom's Public Investment Fund to boost its credit rating standing and financial position, Crown Prince Mohammed said, as quoted by Reuters.

The Financial Times recalls that the transfer comes a week after the Public Investment Fund received its first credit rating from Fitch and Moody's ahead of the issuance of new debt to finance the Kingdom's diversification drive.

Fitch issued an A rating for the PIF with a stable outlook, and Moody's gave it a rating of A1 ahead of the issuance of a green bond and the extension of some $15 billion in bank debt, the FT reported earlier.

The share injection is part of efforts to boost the Public Investment Fund's assets under management from $500 billion to over $1 trillion by the end of 2025. The transferred stake is worth some $80 billion.

Aramco, however, made it clear it was no party to the deal, according to the Reuters report.

"The company is not a party to the transfer and did not enter into any agreements or pay or receive any proceeds from that transfer," the oil giant said.

The Public Investment Fund plans to spend more than $266 billion (1 trillion riyals) on domestic projects by 2025, the FT reported, which would constitute a quarter of its assets under management by the same year.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, media reported that Aramco had plans to list additional shares, to the tune of $50 billion, on the local stock exchange Tadawul. Aramco debuted in Tadawul in December 2019 in what became the biggest listing in history.

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Aramco plans more share offerings to the public in coming years, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in early 2021. The prince, however, did not give any details either about the timing of the new share sales or on which markets those sales could take place.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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