Saudi Aramco is in early talks with JP Morgan, HSBC and Gulf lenders in a bid to raise $10bn to help fund its $69.1bn purchase of 70% of state petchems firm Sabic from Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF, Reuters reports. Aramco last year raised $12bn from a debut bond sale to fund the purchase (MEES, 12 April, 2019). Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said last month that his firm is “hoping to close the transaction in second quarter 2020” (MEES, 20 March): this looks optimistic if the financing has yet to be finalized. PIF for its part last week splashed out a reported $1bn on stakes in oil firms Shell, Total, Eni and Equinor. PIF presumably views currently-depressed valuations of oil stocks as offering good value. However the investment does nothing to decrease Saudi Arabia’s exposure to the oil price cycle.