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Boom and bust

Katie McQue
Reporter
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piqer: Katie McQue
Sunday, 15 April 2018

Inside The World’s Most Profitable Company

It’s not Apple. It’s Saudi Aramco — Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil firm. While the company sells a massive 10 million barrels of oil a day, its earnings have been a mystery for years.

Now, Bloomberg claims it has gained access to Aramco’s finances, giving a much needed insight into the company that is the engine of of the Gulf kingdom’s economy.

The finances reveal Saudi Aramco had a net income of $33.8 billion for the first six months of 2017, overshadowing other huge firms such as Samsung, Exxon Mobil and Apple.

The scoop is especially notable since Aramco’s financial information is of increasing importance because the company is gearing up to list on two stock exchanges in the near future. It is investigating an IPO locally, and is in the process of deciding on a major international board such as New York, London or Hong Kong. The disclosure rules and regulations enforced by each of these international exchanges is making the process of going public difficult for the notoriously secret Saudi Aramco.

The financial data could also help the market determine the company’s value, which is unknown. Saudi Arabia’s future leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman claims the company is worth $2 trillion. If that is the case, selling a 5% stake through the IPOs would raise $100 billion, making it the biggest deal the world has ever seen.

Inside The World’s Most Profitable Company
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