Saudis no longer disclose oil revenues after Aramco’s stock exchange listing

An employee tracks 2019 trading prices for Saudi Aramco shares.

Photographer: Faisal Al Nasser / Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia has stopped disclosing projected oil revenues following Aramco’s listing, as it could provide clues about the state energy giant’s dividend plans.

The kingdom is counting on payouts of Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, to help close its budget deficit and support an economy ravaged this year by the coronavirus blockage and crude oil price crash. The Dhahran-based company first sold shares in December 2019, although the government still owns about 98% of them.

“The reason we are not disclosing the oil and non-oil breakdown is because of Aramco’s presence as a public company,” Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said in a press conference following the announcement of the kingdom’s budget for next year. “The government does business with Aramco as a tax provider. We have income coming from Aramco, taxes coming from Aramco and also dividends as the government is the largest shareholder. “

Read: Saudi Arabia clings to austerity as its 2021 budget is announced

This is the first time in years that the kingdom – which already received dividends from Aramco before going public – has not cut off its expected oil revenues.