King Salman touts Saudi reforms in annual address
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman touted his country’s reforms in his annual address yesterday and stressed the importance of his government’s decision to publicly list shares of the state-run oil company Aramco. He also used his speech to warn Iran against further aggressions.
Two key Saudi Aramco processing sites were targeted by drones and missiles in September, knocking out nearly 6 per cent of daily global crude production. King Salman said Saudi Arabia’s ability to quickly recover and meet global oil demand after the attacks proved “its leading role in ensuring the security and stability of global energy supplies”.
Saudi Aramco is the kingdom’s oil and gas producer, pumping more than 10 million barrels of crude oil a day, about 10 per cent of global demand.
The kingdom plans to sell 1.5 per cent of the company on the local exchange next month, but the success of this offering is heavily dependent on the contribution of local Saudi investors and funds. The king’s son and heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, touted the IPO as a way to create new streams of revenue for large-scale projects able to create thousands of jobs for young Saudis.
Saudi Arabia is looking to raise as much as $25.6 billion (Dh94bn) from the sale.