Markets Brace for First Saudi Aramco Report since December IPO
Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant, is expected to announce a drop in profits when it issues its annual report on Monday – the first public reporting on the state of the company since the secretive House of Saud took part of it public in early December. With global markets now plunging from the impact of coronavirus, Aramco, long considered the world’s most valuable corporation, is expected to reveal a drop in profits due to what has been a longer-term price slump precipitated by a spike in US shale-oil output, and a more recent, precipitous drop caused by both coronavirus and a price war with Russia. Yet it is Aramco’s estimated worth that will be of note. The Saudis, beginning to move away from oil as their sole source of income in light of growing non-carbon-based energy sources and finite in-the-ground reserves, saw an IPO-linked valuation estimated at about $1.7 trillion after hopes for $2 trillion. Current share prices, however, place the figure at about $1.55 trillion, although analysts will probably want to wait until next year’s report to decide whether the early share purchases were a good buy.