Saudi Aramco has unseated Microsoft from the place of the world’s second-largest company in terms of market value, boasting $2.11 trillion in value, second only to Apple.
The change in ranking occurred last month after Aramco’s shares rose on the news that the kingdom’s Crown Prince will transfer 4% of the state oil company to an entity owned by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, Middle East Monitor reported.
The transfer was made to strengthen the sovereign wealth fund’s financial position and its credit rating, an official statement by prince Mohammed bin Salman said in mid-April.
"This is a private transfer between the state and Sanabil, and the company is not a party to the transfer and did not enter into any agreements or pay or receive any proceeds from the transfer," Aramco said in a stock exchange filing cited by the Associated Press.
Aramco reported a net profit of $161.1 billion for 2022, up from $110 billion a year earlier and a record net earnings result for the company, which joins every other big oil producer in the world to benefit from higher oil prices.
That figure also made Aramco the world’s most profitable company last year, ahead of Apple and the rest of Big Tech. The 2022 profit figure was, in fact, higher than the profits of Apple, Exxon, and Microsoft combined, Middle East Monitor noted.
The oil company also boasted a record cash flow from operating activities, at $186.2 billion, and a record free cash flow, at $148.5 billion.
In comments on the company’s results, chief executive Amin Nasser noted that he expected oil and gas demand across the world to remain robust, fueling the future growth of the company. He also cautioned, however, that global underinvestment in new production threatened the security of supply.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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