Moving to Undo the petro-dollar: Russia to team up with China in Aramco IPO bid

Russia to team up with China in Aramco IPO bid

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).
Kirill Dmitriev, CEO, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

Russia says it plans to participate in the initial public offering of the shares of Saudi Arabia’s energy giant Aramco in partnership with a joint investment fund China. 

Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive officer of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, was quoted as saying by media that several Russian banks would also join the scheme which could proceed later this year.

“Not only this, but 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 told reporters, Bloomberg reported.

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

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced last year that the kingdom was considering listing about 5 percent of Aramco in 2018 in a deal that could raise $100 billion, if the company is valued at about $2 trillion as hoped.

The initial public offering (IPO) of Aramco is the centerpiece of an economic reform plan to diversify the Saudi economy beyond oil and it would also provide a welcome boost to the kingdom’s budget which has been hit by low oil prices.

Earlier in January, Dmitriev said Russia was considering purchasing Aramco shares, stressing that the move was meant to strengthen the partnership between the world’s two top oil producers.

“Extending such cooperation for many more years would be very useful for the market. It has proven its efficiency, when we were targeting balancing supply and demand rather than targeting a particular oil price,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Dmitriev had further emphasized that a deal between Russian and Saudi Arabia over investing in Aramaco could pave the way for dialogue on many other fronts without providing further explanations.

 

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