US$65B PO­TEN­TIAL DEALS

World’s largest oil pro­ducer eyes more in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties with China

New Straits Times - - Business | World -

AUDI Ara­bia’s King Salman over­saw the sign­ing of deals worth po­ten­tially US$65 bil­lion (RM288 bil­lion) as he be­gan a visit to Bei­jing yesterday, as the world’s largest oil pro­ducer looks to ce­ment ties with the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy.

The oc­to­ge­nar­ian monarch, who has over­seen the launch of an am­bi­tious eco­nomic re­form plan since his ac­ces­sion two years ago, is on a month-long Asian tour.

The vis­its to coun­tries that are some of world’s fastest grow­ing im­porters of Saudi oil aim to pro­mote in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the king­dom, in­clud­ing the sale of a stake in its gi­ant state firm Saudi Aramco.

Saudi Ara­bia has sought to boost oil sales to China, the world’s sec­ond-largest oil mar­ket, af­ter los­ing mar­ket share to Rus­sia last year, by work­ing mostly with China’s top three state oil firms.

Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping told Salman in Bei­jing’s cav­ernous Great Hall of the Peo­ple that his visit showed the im­por­tance he at­tached to re­la­tions with China.

“This visit will push for­ward and con­tinue to im­prove the qual­ity of our re­la­tions and bear new fruit,” said Xi.

China’s in talks with Saudi Ara­bia for its sov­er­eign wealth fund and largest en­ergy com­pany to in­vest in the ini­tial public of­fer­ing of the Mid­dle East na­tion’s state oil pro­ducer, said sources with knowl­edge of the mat­ter.

China In­vest­ment Corp would be the Asian na­tion’s prin­ci­ple in­vestor in the planned flota­tion by Saudi Ara­bian Oil Co, said sources.

China Na­tional Pe­tro­leum Corp (CNPC) may also in­vest in the ini­tial public of­fer­ing, they said. No for­mal agree­ment has been reached, the sources added. Agen­cies

AP PIC

Saudi King Salman

(right) and China Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping at the Road to the Arab Repub­lic event in Bei­jing yesterday.

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