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Saudi Aramco in talks to buy stake in Reliance Industries

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DUBAI: State oil giant Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producer, is in talks to buy a stake in the refining and petrochemicals businesses of India’s Reliance Industries, two sources familiar.

The Times of India reported earlier that Aramco was in talks to buy up to a 25 percent stake, which could be worth around $10-$15 billion, valuing the Indian company’s refining and petrochemicals businesses at around $55 billion to $60 billion.

Aramco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Aramco has been increasing its investments in refining and petrochemicals to secure new markets for its crude, as it sees growth in chemicals as central to its downstream expansion strategy.

It also said last week it had agreed to buy the 70 percent stake held by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) in Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) for $69.1 billion, one of the largest deals in the global chemicals industry.

The agreement to help boost Aramco’s downstream growth plans comes after months of talks between Aramco and the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which contributed to the delay of Aramco’s planned multi-billion dollar initial public offering.

Aramco said it has no plans to buy the remaining shares in SABIC, the world’s fourth-biggest petrochemicals firm.

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