Saudi Aramco’s net income more than doubled to a three-year high $110bn in 2021 as the energy giant capitalized on sharply rising oil prices. As expected, it will funnel much of the windfall back into capital expenditure aimed at meeting “rising long-term demand for reliable, affordable and ever more secure and sustainable energy” (MEES, 25 March).

Although Aramco opted against increasing the size of the dividend for 2022 – it will stay flat at $75bn – there is a gift for investors in the shape of a distribution of bonus shares. Aramco’s Board of Directors recommended that $4bn in retained earnings be capitalized, and that shareholders be granted one bonus share for every ten shares owned. The number of Aramco shares will increase from 200bn to 220bn as a result. (CONTINUED - 671 WORDS)