Saudi Arabia’s Aramco was the world’s most profitable company in 2018, surpassing giants including Apple Inc., Samsung, and Shell, according to American credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service.
Aramco generated a net income of $111.1 billion in 2018, a profit equal to that of Apple Inc., Google, and Exxon Mobil combined.
The world’s largest oil producer has hired banks ahead of a planned multi-tranche debut dollar bond issue, potentially including tranches from three to 30 years, according to a document issued by one of the banks leading the deal and reviewed by Reuters.
The oil giant is expected to use the bond to help finance its acquisition of a stake in SABIC, the world’s fourth-largest petrochemicals maker, in a deal announced last week worth $69.1 billion. The Kingdom’s oil minister has said the bond would be around $10 billion in size.
Aramco intends to pay 50 percent of the acquisition price at the closing of the SABIC deal, while the remainder will be paid over a two-year period from internal cash generation and, potentially, other sources, according to a document seen by Reuters.
Aramco obtained credit ratings of A1 by Moody’s and A+ by Fitch ahead of the planned bond.
Aramco will start meeting international bond investors this week for its debut in the international capital markets, opening its books to investor scrutiny for the first time. Given Aramco is fully state-owned, its ratings are in line with the credit rating of Saudi Arabia.
“Saudi Aramco has an extremely strong liquidity position,” Moody’s said. As of the end of 2018, it had $48.8 billion in cash against $27 billion in reported debt, it said.
- With Reuters
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