Saudi Aramco has launched a global medium-term note programme, and will hold a series of fixed-income investor meetings as it seeks to raise capital to facilitate expansion of upstream activities and diversification into downstream sector.

A base prospectus, released on 1 April, specifies that any notes issued under the progamme in the next 12 months will be admitted to the official list of the UK Listing Authority and to the London Stock Exchange for trading on the London Stock Exchange’s Regulated Market.

US-based JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are arrangers and dealers for the planned note programme, with other US banks Citigroup, Goldman Sachs International, UK-based HSBC and the local NCB Capital as dealers for the deal.

The base prospectus for the medium-term note programme was released days after Saudi Aramco announced it had entered into an agreement with the Public Investment Fund to acquire the sovereign wealth fund’s 70 per cent equity stake in chemicals producer Sabic for $69.1bn.

The Sabic acquisition is part of the oil company’s plan to boost its presence in the downstream petrochemicals sector in line with its 2030 strategic objectives. Under the objectives, Aramco is aiming to increase its global refining capacity from 4.9 million barrels a day (b/d) to 8-10 million b/d, of which it plans to convert 2-3 million b/d into petrochemicals products.

In 2018, Aramco produced an average of 13.6 million barrels a day of oil equivalent, including 10.3 million barrels a day of crude oil. The kingdom’s reserves in fields operated by the company are estimated to be 336.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, including 261.5 billion barrels of crude oil and condensate, 36.1 barrels of natural gas liquids and 233.8 trillion standard cubic feet of natural gas.

In the base prospectus, Aramco reveals the company generated SR453.7bn ($121bn) in net cash in 2018.

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