Aug. 13, 2019

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries announced that it was selling a 20 % stake in its flagship oil and chemical business to Saudi Aramco for $15 billion. This will be the second-largest foreign investment in India.


  • Saudi Aramco is Saudi Arabia’s national oil company which is responsible for managing the nation’s petroleum wealth. Currently, the company is said to account for around 87 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s budget.

  • Heavily influenced by the Al Saud royal family, Saudi Aramco is controlled by the Supreme Council for Saudi Aramco (SCSA) led by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, the nation’s de facto ruler.

  • Saudi Aramco is the world’s most profitable company. With a net profit of $46.9 billion so far this year, Saudi Aramco has made more money than Apple and Alphabet (the parent company of Google) combined, this despite having witnessed a 12 per cent fall in half-year net profit.

  • Since 2016, when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman took charge of the company, Saudi Aramco is on the path of investing in non-oil sectors such as technology, part of the country’s plan to become less dependent on petroleum.

Significance of recent deal:

  • This will be the second-largest foreign investment in India. Saudi Aramco’s proposed investment in RIL is second only to the $16-billion infusion by Walmart in Flipkart in 2018.

  • The investment, subject to due diligence and regulatory approvals, will help RIL, India’s largest private sector company, cut its debt of Rs 1.54 lakh crore ($22 billion).

  • Saudi Aramco has been supplying crude oil to RIL’s Jamnagar refinery — the world’s largest — for over 25 years.