Major Chinese investors in talks to buy a stake in Saudi Aramco

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Major Chinese investors in talks to buy a stake in Saudi Aramco

General view of Saudi Aramco (22 May 2018) Ras Tanura oil refinery and Iran oil terminal in Saudi Arabia 20 May 2018.REUTERS Ahmed Jadallah.

Saudi Aramco investors are in talks to buy a stake in major Chinese fortunes on Wednesday, as Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia's state oil company prepares to sell another slice of its business to international investors.

Saudi Arabia was in discussions to sell 1% of Aramco to a leading international energy company and could sell further shares within the next year or two to international investors, Crown Prince Mohammed bin SalmanPrince Mohammed bin Salman said on Tuesday in televised remarks.A stake of 1% would amount to around $12 billion based on Aramco's current market capitalisation.

The United States sovereign wealth fund said after two sources told Reuters that ChinaChina Investment Corporation was among those that could invest.

Aramco was talking to CIC, as well as Chinese National Oil Company, said one of the sources close to CICCIC.We know that no Chinese companies could be reached immediately for comment.

Aramco had been in contact with Chinese investors for a few years and CIC is the most likely investor, said the second source with a state-backed private equity fund.

The kingdom has close relations with China, said a third source, who is close to Aramco.The owner will decide what to do with their stocks.

In March 2016, Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, kept its position as the seventh consecutive month it has been for a China's biggest crude oil supplier for a seventh month.

Another source said before the COVID 19 Pandemic toured China seeking investors, talking to all the major state investors with overseas money, but few interested.CIC and China's Silk Road Fund were also among the firms they approached.

Aramco, the world's largest oil company, entered the bourse in late 2019 to raise $25.6 billion from the IPO and later sold more shares under a greenshoe option to raise the total to $29.4 billion.

There are now talks for the acquisition of a 1% stake by a leading global energy company in a major deal that would boost Aramco's sales in a major country, Prince Mohammed said without elaborating.

There are discussions with other companies for different stakes, and part of Aramco's shares could be marketed on the Public Investment Fund and part listed on the Saudi bourse, he said in an interview aired by Saudi TV marking the fifth anniversary of Vision 2030.

The 2019 AramcoAramco IPO was seen as a pillar of the economic diversification programme aimed at attract foreign investment.

In the interview, Prince Mohammed said that Riyadh was strengthening its relations with China, Russia and Saudi Arabia, though the United States remained a strategic partner despite some differences with the Biden administration, which has taken a tougher position on Russia.China has said Saudi Arabia is a strategic partner, Russia has said Saudi Arabia is a strategic partner and Saudi Arabia has also said such as Saudi Arabia is a strategic partner.

The Xinjiang ProvinceXinjiang Province, home of China and the United States minority, has flared on a variety of issues in recent months, including Taiwan and Beijing's use of forced labor in its northwestern Xinjiang province.

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