The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has not yet taken up the proposal to sell the government’s entire stake in public sector refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur informed the Lok Sabha. But reports have surfaced saying that, the government is trying to get a foreign buyer to buy stakes of BPCL and Saudi Aramco may be the frontrunner in buying stakes.
According to National Herald, the government is keen to get international energy majors such as Saudi Aramco, Total SA of France and ExxonMobil to operate in the downstream fuel marketing business so as to bring in competition. And Saudi Aramco is the frontrunner in buying stakes. The petroleum minister said: “our PSUs have done a commendable job in the building of modern India and ensuring the availability of fuel to the common man. But the common man will benefit most when there is market competition.”
Aramco-the Saudi-Govt’s oil giant, Saudi Aramco, released its prospectus, stating the company will list 1.5% of its shares on the local Tadawul exchange in Riyadh, seeking a valuation of roughly $1.7 trillion.
The $1.7 trillion figure would make Aramco the highest-valued public company in the world, with a much larger market capitalization than Apple. However, it is well below the $2 trillion Saudi officials previously targeted, marking a setback for Mohammad bin Salman, the country’s crown prince.
A number of global oil and gas majors could be interested in entering the fuel retail market in India, the world’s third-largest consumer of crude oil. According to Business Today, The world’s largest initial public offering (IPO), which Saudi Aramco is planning, brings cheer to the Indian market as the Saudi government owned firm targets $100 billion investments in the country. The oil behemoth has announced two voluminous transactions in India – the strategic investment in $44 billion petroleum refinery in Maharashtra and $15 billion worth stake acquisition in the refining and petrochemicals business of Reliance Industries (RIL).