India’s Reliance Industries is “working to complete the contours of a strategic partnership with Saudi Aramco,” chairman Mukesh Ambani says in the company’s 2019-20 annual report, published 23 June. Mr Ambani gives no timeline for closing the $15bn deal for Aramco to buy 20% of Reliance’s downstream business, which will “give our refineries access to a wide portfolio of value-accretive crude grades.” Aramco signed a preliminary agreement last summer to buy into Reliance, giving it equity in two refineries with 1.82mn b/d combined capacity and tying up 500,000 b/d of crude supply (MEES, 16 August 2019).

Mr Ambani’s comment follows the 17 June signing by Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF of “definitive documentation” to buy a 2.32% stake in Reliance’s Jio Platforms mobile telecoms and digital media subsidiary for $1.5bn. PIF governor Yasir al-Rumayyan, also chairman of Aramco, says Jio is “at the forefront of the transformation of the technology sector in India” and the investment will “generate significant long-term commercial returns” for Saudi Arabia. Mr Rumayyan oversaw Aramco’s purchase of PIF’s stake in Saudi petchems firm Sabic for $69.1bn, a deal intended to help fund Riyad’s Vision 2030 economic transformation, which closed last week (MEES, 19 June). (CONTINUED - 199 WORDS)