Saudi Aramco reported a more than doubling of its annual 2021 profits to $110bn (up 124% YoY) on the back of higher crude oil prices, better refining and chemicals margins, and consolidation of its chemicals business. Aramco reported free cash flows of $107.5bn vs. $49.1bn in 2020. It declared a Q4 2021 dividend of $18.8bn, taking the total annual cash dividend to $75bn. Aramco also added that $4bn in retained earnings would be capitalized and bonus shares (1 for every 10 owned) be distributed to shareholders. Capex in 2021 increased to $31.9bn, up 18% YoY and is expected to increase further to $40-50bn in 2022. Gearing ratio stood at 14.2% end-December 2021 vs. 23% at end-2020. “We see healthy oil demand. Unfortunately there is shrinking global spare capacity, combined with low inventories and a lack of investment”, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said.
Aramco’s dollar bonds were slightly higher with its 4.25% 2039s up 0.53 points to 102.82, yielding 4.02%.