By Kunle Adedoyin
Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil firm of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is the world’s most profitable company with a net profit of $111 billion.
The oil company which is the largest in the world, opened up its books for the first time ever as it plans to issue a $10 billion bond to acquire a 70% stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).
Aramco hopes to acquire the stake in SABIC, the national petrochemical company of Saudi Arabia for $69.1 billion.
By comparison, Royal Dutch Shell, the largest publicly traded oil company, made $23.4 billion net income during same period, while ExxonMobil, the largest US oil company, made $20.8 billion in 2018.
Apple, the world’s most profitable public company, made a net income of $59.4 billion in 2018, just a little over half of what Aramco made.
However, data from rating agencies Fitch and Moody’s, revealed that Aramco does not match up to its international counterparts in terms of cash generated per barrel.
Aramco is rated below Shell and Total’s AA- rating as it makes $26 per barrel of oil, compared to Shell’s $38 per barrel and Total’s $31 per barrel.
The SABIC acquisition is dubbed as a plan B for the Saudi government; as an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Aramco initially planned for 2018 would have valued the company at $2 trillion.
Moody’s reported that Aramco pays 50% of its profit on income tax, plus royalties of between 20% and 50% of the company’s revenue depending on the price of oil.