Saudi Aramco's profit fell 25 per cent in the first quarter of the year as a result of a drop in oil prices and a plunge in global demand as a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus, the company reported today.
Amin Nasser, Saudi Aramco's chief executive, said: "The Covid-19 crisis is unlike anything the world has experienced in recent history." He also added the impact of the pandemic on global energy demand and oil prices will weigh on earnings, Financial Times reported.
Last month, the world's largest oil-production company entered a decisive stage in its endeavour to obtain $10 billion in loans from a number of banks after oil prices crashed.
Yesterday, Reuters reported that Aramco is also reviewing its deal to acquire a controlling stake in petrochemicals maker SABIC after a more than 40 per cent drop in its value following the oil price crash.
The kingdom, which relies heavily on oil revenues, has been hit hard by the slump in oil prices, with the government announcing austerity measures yesterday including plans to triple Vat in July and cut bonuses and benefits to its citizens next month.
Since King Salman took to the throne in 2015, foreign reserves fell from $732 billion to $499 billion in December last year, according to the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA).