|2020-03-17 来源： 中国石化新闻网|
洪伟立 摘译自 彭博社
Aramco Keeps $75 Billion Dividend Promise Even With Oil’s Plunge
Even with oil prices having slumped, Saudi Aramco said it still intends to give at least $75 billion to shareholders this year.
The world’s biggest company by market value, which listed in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh in December, will pay the dividends on a quarterly basis, it said in its 2019 financial results released on Sunday.
Capital expenditure will drop to between $25 billion and $30 billion this year, from $32.8 billion in 2019. Even so, the firm would still need at least $100 billion to meet its dividend and capex commitments alone, almost matching its 2019 payments.
The spread of the coronavirus and the oil-price war instigated by Saudi Arabia after Russia rejected coordinated production cuts has sent Brent crude prices spiraling. They have dropped more than 50% since the end of December to around $33 a barrel, and some analysts predict they’ll fall further to below $10 a barrel.
Low oil prices would crimp Aramco’s earnings and hurt Saudi Arabia’s finances. The kingdom needs an oil price of $84 to balance this year’s budget.
Aramco will be able to achieve a free cash flow of $63 billion in 2020, according to Riyadh-based Al Rajhi Capital. That calculation assumes the company pumps 10.7 million barrels per day and Brent crude prices average $30 a barrel.
Raising debt is an option as borrowing costs are low and the company is still within its debt-to-equity ratio of 5-15%. The yield on Aramco’s $3 billion bond due in 2029 has climbed this month amid a global selloff of emerging-market assets, but at 3.65% is barely higher than when the debt was issued in April.
The government could also cut its own dividend allocations while paying private shareholders, which own around 1.5% of the company, their portion of the $75 billion.