Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, announced plans on Monday to sell billions of dollars in international bonds to boost the company’s balance sheet and meet its $75 billion dividend target amid lower oil prices.
Amid a slump in crude prices caused by the global coronavirus pandemic, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company has found it difficult to pay shareholders, as it seeks to fund a $75 billion dividend commitment, most of which goes to the government, its main shareholder.
Amin Nasser, chief executive officer of the company, said in June that Saudi Aramco would try all the instruments at its disposal to fulfill its dividend pledge.
After a profit loss of 45% in the third quarter due to the slumping crude prices, the company has now decided to hire Goldman Sachs, Citi, HSBC, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and NCB Capital to arrange investor calls starting on Monday, Aramco said.
The international rating agency Fitch last week revised down the outlook on Saudi Aramco from positive to negative due to concerns over the government’s weaker finances.
By Sibel Morrow