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Saudi Crown Prince Transfers 4% Of Aramco To Sovereign Wealth Fund

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has transferred a 4% stake in Aramco to an investment company owned by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund.

According to a statement issued by the crown prince, the transfer will strengthen the sovereign wealth fund’s financial position and its credit rating, Reuter’s report noted that the fund is Saudi Arabia’s main tool of diversifying its economy away from oil.

"This is a private transfer between the state and Sanabil, and the company is not a party to the transfer and did not enter into any agreements or pay or receive any proceeds from the transfer," Aramco said in a stock exchange filing cited by the Associated Press.

The AP recalled that last year, another 4% of Aramco was transferred to the Public Investment Fund.

Reuters notes that Sanabil, the investment vehicle of the PIF, commits some $3 billion to investments on an annual basis.

To date, some 1.73 percent of the company’s stock is traded on the Saudi exchange, the AP notes. The state still owns 90.18% of Saudi Aramco.

Aramco reported a net profit of $161.1 billion for 2022, up from $110 billion a year earlier and a record net earnings result for the company, which joins every other big oil producer in the world to benefit from higher oil prices.

The company also boasted a record cash flow from operating activities, at $186.2 billion, and a record free cash flow, at $148.5 billion.

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In comments on the company’s results, chief executive Amin Nasser noted that he expected oil and gas demand across the world to remain robust, fueling the future growth of the company. He also cautioned, however, that global underinvestment in new production threatened the security of supply.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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