Aramco reportedly in advanced talks with India’s Reliance Industries on deal worth up to $25 billion

Saudi Aramco is in advanced talks to acquire a roughly 20% stake in Reliance Industries’ oil refining and chemicals business for about $20 billion to $25 billion in Aramco’s shares, Bloomberg News reported on Monday. An agreement could be reached as soon as the coming weeks, according to the report, which cited people with knowledge of the matter.

Aramco and Reliance declined to comment.

Reliance, which is backed by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, could reach an agreement with Aramco as soon as the coming weeks, the people said.Shares in Reliance extended gains to as much as 2.6% in Mumbai.

A deal would forge a closer alliance between the world’s biggest oil exporter and one of the fastest-growing consumers. Ties and trade between the two countries have grown in recent years as India looks to bolster its energy security and Saudi Arabia reduces its support for Pakistan over the disputed territory of Kashmir. Riyadh and New Delhi elevated their relationship to a “strategic partnership” in 2019.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler, said in April that the kingdom was in talks to sell a 1% stake in Aramco to a “leading global energy company.” He didn’t disclose which one.

“This deal could be very important in strengthening Aramco’s sales in the country where this company resides,” the prince had said. Saudi Arabia shipped 613,000 barrels a day of crude to India in July, around 10% of its total exports. The transaction would help Aramco reach its goal of more than doubling refining capacity to between 8 million and 10 million barrels of crude a day.The Saudi firm had 3.6 million barrels a day of capacity at the end of last year, including stakes in joint ventures.

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