Saudi Aramco, which is buying 20 per cent in the oil and petrochemicals business of Reliance Industries NSE 1.22 %, has emerged as the world’s most profitable company with a staggering bottom line of $111 billion last year, surpassing the combined profits of giants like Apple, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell.
The state-owned company’s massive oil production makes Saudi Arabia the kingpin of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The company is on an acquisition spree, buying stakes in refineries, to give the world’s largest crude oil exporter assured markets when concerns of pollution and the shift to clean energy is raising concerns about falling oil demand in the medium to long term.
On Monday, when Mukesh Ambani announced the stake sale, Saudi Aramco said its net profit in the first half of 2019 rose to $46.9 billion, slightly lower than $53 billion a year ago, because of lower oil prices. It was still far ahead of the $31.5 billion reported by the world’s most profitable listed company Apple.