March 18, 2018

Russian Federation eyes Saudi Aramco IPO investment

15 February 2018, 04:56 | Melvin Schneider

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Saudi Arabia's interest in Russian natural gas was underscored when the kingdom's Energy and Industry Minister Khalid Al Falih made an appearance alongside President Vladimir Putin in December for the unveiling of the Arctic Yamal LNG plant - the world's coldest such facility.

The move is aimed at strengthening energy ties between the two major oil producers. "We believe this is very good for, once again, thinking jointly about oil", he said.

Apart from potential investment in Aramco's IPO, Russia is also considering multi-billion deals with the Saudi investment fund, including in projects and partnerships with Aramco, Dmitriev said.

"Not only this, we have a Russia-China investment fund, and through that Russia-China investment fund we see a major interest in the Aramco IPO from a number of leading Chinese institutions", Dmitriev said.

"We see significant interest to invest in the Aramco IPO from Russian Federation, from China, and we believe that this is very good for, once again, thinking jointly about oil".

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Aramco's IPO was viewed as the centrepiece of Saudi Arabia's plan to wean its economy off oil, with the nation's government estimating the share sale could see the company valued at around $2trn.

Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia are expected to finalise a major agreement in the LNG sector as the oil market's biggest producers look to boost their co-operation in the face of growing prominence of the USA shale sector.

The women of the oil-rich kingdom are mostly well-educated and keen to kickstart a career, with Saudi Arabia's passport department recently reporting that it received 107,000 applications for 140 vacant positions for women at airports and border crossings.

Novak said that during the meeting, bilateral relations in all fields were discussed and productive discussions were held on energy.

Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia have continued to boost economic ties, and oil ties as well, with the cooperation in the OPEC/non-OPEC production cut deal.

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