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Aramco emerges ahead of Apple as world's most profitable company
April 2, 2019

From the Wall Street Journal:

Saudi Arabia on Monday for the first time revealed details to investors that show its national oil company is the world's most profitable business, demonstrating that the cloistered kingdom is willing to undergo unprecedented scrutiny to tap international cash. With $111 billion in net income in 2018, Saudi Aramco, as the firm is known, had bigger returns last year than Apple and Exxon Mobil combined. Before taxes and other expenses, the firm said it made $212 billion, a figure similar to the combined military budgets of the 28 member states of the European Union.

The financial information on Monday was disclosed in a prospectus for a planned bond sale of at least $10 billion to help fund the acquisition of a $69.1 billion stake in Saudi Arabia's national petrochemicals firm. The 470-page document provided the first look under the hood of Aramco's finances since the once-American-run firm was nationalized over three decades ago and its profits became state secrets.

By disclosing Aramco's profits and other detailed financial information, some Saudi officials hope they will quell any doubts about their determination to list Aramco publicly by 2021, in what would likely be the biggest ever IPO. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's day-to-day ruler, wants to use the IPO to raise tens of billions of dollars to build new futuristic new cities, diversify the kingdom's oil-dependent economy and fund a host of non-oil industries like technology, entertainment and mining.

Continue reading at the Wall Street Journal...

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