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Saudi Aramco signs energy deals worth nearly $4.5 bln

AFP  |  Riyadh 

Saudi Aramco today signed agreements worth nearly USD 4.5 billion with multinational and gas contractors, in what the company dubbed as an effort to diversify the economy.

The deals were signed with companies including Spain's Tecnicas Reunidas, Italy's Saipem, Petroleum Pipeline and Abu Dhabi's National Petroleum Construction.

The "reflect our concerted effort... to diversify our economy, promote local manufacturing, support a sustainable environment and strengthen our business and investment climate", Aramco's chief executive Amin Nasser was quoted as saying in a statement.

last year announced plans to sell under five percent of Aramco, the kingdom's crown jewel, in what is expected to be the world's largest ever initial public offering.

The plan forms the cornerstone of a reform programme envisaged by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to wean the economy off its on

It could generate much-needed after the country lost hundreds of billions of dollars since crude prices slumped in mid-2014, leading to huge budget deficits and withdrawals from strategic reserves.

Analysts, however, have voiced misgivings following recent media reports that the flotation could be shelved amid concerns over its feasibility.

Nasser last month shot down the reports, saying the IPO will happen as scheduled in the second half of 2018.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, November 10 2017. 00:57 IST