Saudi Aramco eyes new investments in India after cancellation of Reliance deal


Aramco had signed a non-binding letter of intent in August 2019 for a potential 20% stake in the Reliance Oil to Chemical unit valued at about $15 billion.
Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Saudi Aramco said it would continue to look for investment opportunities in India, days after Reliance Industries Ltd canceled a plan to sell a stake in its oil-to-chemicals unit to the company.

“India offers tremendous long-term growth opportunities,” Aramco said in a statement on Sunday. It will “continue to evaluate new and existing business opportunities with our potential partners.”

Aramco signed a non-binding letter of intent in August 2019 for a potential 20 percent stake in Reliance’s oil-to-chemicals unit valued at about $15 billion. Reliance said the companies will pull out of the deal on Friday.

“Reliance and Aramco have a long-standing relationship and will continue to look for investment opportunities in India,” Aramco said.

In its statement, Reliance also said it would remain Aramco’s partner of choice in India and was “committed” to an agreement with the company, without further elaboration.

As recently as June of this year, Reliance said it expected to finalize the investment deal with Aramco and appointed Chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan, who is an independent director on its board.

That revived hopes of a deal after Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest person, said in 2020 that the pandemic and its impact on fuel demand had created obstacles to the deal.

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