Mukesh Ambani, in his address to the shareholders on Thursday, said that Saudi Aramco's plan to join Reliance O2C Ltd as a strategic partner is expected to be formalised in an "expeditious manner" this year. The $15-billion deal announced by Ambani in 2019 annual general meeting (AGM) has been delayed because of the troubles that Aramco has been facing at the crude pricing front. However, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has inducted Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Chairman of Saudi Aramco and the Governor of the Public Investment Fund, on the board of India's largest private company. The move is expected to hasten the deal conclusion.
"We look forward to welcoming Saudi Aramco as a strategic partner in our O2C business," said Ambani. He added that both the companies have made substantial progress in discussions in the past year.
"These discussions have been held in the spirit of mutual commitment to convert our long-standing relationship into a perpetual partnership. This continued engagement and resolve from both sides, even during this pandemic, is a testimony of the strong relationship between Saudi Aramco and Reliance," he added.
Reliance O2C has international plans also, Ambani indicated. The strategic investments of Aramco is expected to act as a bridge for RO2C in its international foray, especially in the new areas of petrochemicals business.
Saudi Arabia is in the process to sell 1 per cent stake in its oil giant Aramco for $19 billion. Aramco may be in talks with one of the state-backed oil majors from China, suggested reports. The crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, earlier confirmed the possible sale in the world's biggest oil company.
Aramco has been in discussions with RIL to pick up a 20 per cent stake in the latter's refining and petrochemicals business for $15 billion.
The partnership of RIL and Aramco is expected to improve the India-Saudi relations, especially while negotiating the crude price. The governments recently sparred over the crude oil prices. India, the third-largest crude oil importer and consumer, recently asked public sector crude refining companies to scale up imports from the US and Africa following Saudi Arabia's decision to raise the official selling price (OSP) of oil shipments to Asia in May. The action by Saudi, the world's largest crude exporter, was largely conceived as a retaliation to India's plan to cut crude imports from the country.
Copyright©2021 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today