India’s Reliance Industries announced on 19 November that a much-anticipated $15bn deal with Saudi Aramco had been scrapped. In 2019 the firms signed a preliminary agreement for the Saudi energy giant to acquire a 20% stake in Reliance’s refining and petchems arm (MEES, 16 August 2019). Since then Reliance has appeared more eager to close the deal than Aramco, which has repeatedly stated that it was conducting due diligence on the matter.

In June, Aramco Chairman Yasir al-Rumayyan joined Reliance’s board, and Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani said “I expect our partnership to be formalized in an expeditious manner this year” (MEES, 25 June). Instead, the deal has fallen apart, with Reliance stating the two “mutually determined that it would be beneficial for both parties to re-evaluate.” As well as cancelling the Saudi investment, Reliance has also halted the planned spin-off of its downstream business. (CONTINUED - 237 WORDS)