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DUBAI/MUMBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco is planning a blockbuster investment in Reliance Industries (RELI.NS), the Indian conglomerate said on Monday, as the Saudi energy giant diversifies its business, where weaker oil prices cut its first-half profit by 12%. In preparation for what could be the world’s largest initial public offering (IPO), state-run Aramco began publishing its results this year as it also started issuing international bonds. The world’s top oil producer plans to launch an IPO by 2020-2021, having postponed its flotation from last year.
Aramco signed a letter of intent to take a 20% stake in Reliance’s oil-to-chemicals business in one of the largest ever foreign investments in India, Reliance said.
While terms of the deal are yet to be finalised, Reliance will get roughly $15 billion, including some debt adjustments for the 20% stake, P.M.S. Prasad, Executive Director of Reliance Industries said on Monday, adding the two companies aim to close the deal by March 2020.
Aramco is expanding its downstream, or refining, chemicals and marketing, footprint globally by signing new deals and boosting the capacity of its plants to secure new markets for its crude and reduce its risk to any downturn in oil demand.
For years, Aramco has been a regular crude supplier to Indian refiners via long-term crude contracts.
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