Saudi Aramco CEO says oil giant can still meet dividend expectations as crown prince prioritizes investments

Oil tanks at an oil processing facility of Saudi Aramco, a Saudi Arabian state-owned oil and gasoline firm, on the Abqaiq oil subject.

Stanislav Krasilnikov | TASS by way of Getty Images

The chief government of the world’s greatest oil firm on Wednesday stated he believes the agency will still be capable to meet dividend payout expectations after Saudi Arabia’s authorities introduced plans to prioritize investments.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday stated that state-backed oil giant Saudi Aramco and petrochemical agency SABIC would fund the vast majority of a 5 trillion riyals ($1.three trillion) personal sector funding plan for financial diversification.

“We are very excited with the government’s announcement yesterday of the Shareek program,” Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser advised CNBC’s Dan Murphy in an unique interview.

“We support this initiative which is very much aligned with Vision 2030. It promotes GDP growth through new investment and will have a multiplier effect for the Saudi economy.”

The authorities’s 5 trillion riyals personal sector funding plan is a part of 12 trillion riyals value of investments deliberate by 2030.

The crown prince stated, based on Reuters, that the federal government had requested the largest taking part corporations to chop dividends and redirect the money to new investments. For these proudly owning shares in Saudi Aramco, he reaffirmed dividend costs would stay secure.

“We promised them that and we will keep that promise,” the crown prince stated, Reuters reported. The oil giant is 98% owned by the federal government.

When requested how sustainable the corporate’s dividend would show to be within the wake of the federal government’s personal sector funding plans, Nasser stated that it was a “voluntary” program that had taken personal pursuits into consideration.

“The company has, as I said, a strong balance sheet, it is one of the lowest-cost producers in the world and it is very capable to execute mega projects and giga-projects while continuing also to meet the expectations of its shareholders.”

Shares of Saudi Aramco, listed on the Saudi inventory trade, traded greater than 1.8% larger on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, Saudi Aramco reported a 44% drop in full-year 2020 earnings, lacking analyst expectations. The firm took on extra debt final 12 months to take care of its $75 billion greenback dividend payout and introduced a minimize to spending within the 12 months forward.

Nasser described the final 12 months as “one of the most challenging years in recent history,” citing decrease oil costs and weaker refining and chemical compounds margins.

The coronavirus pandemic sparked a historic collapse within the value of oil final 12 months, as unprecedented public well being measures to curb the unfold of the illness coincided with restricted mobility worldwide.

For Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich financial system, the worldwide well being disaster and oil market turmoil have been setbacks to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plans to diversify away from oil exports and scale back unemployment.

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