Aramco Payout

Saudi Aramco to pay $31 billion dividend as kingdom seeks to plug budget gap

The world's largest oil company reported that first-quarter net income declined 14% to $27.3 billion

Amin H. Nasser, President & CEO of Aramco, attends the China Development Forum in Beijing on March 25. (Photo: Getty Images)

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, will distribute $31 billion in dividends despite a decline in first-quarter profit.

The payout is critical to the Saudi government, which owns 82% of the company and has reported a deficit for the sixth straight quarter.

The kingdom’s budget gap has forced a slowdown in the pace of building NEOM and other ambitious construction projects.

Aramco reported that first-quarter net income declined 14% to $27.3 billion, down from $31.9 billion a year earlier.

The company declared base dividend payouts for the first quarter totalling $20.3 billion and a performance-linked dividend distribution of $10.8 billion to be paid in the second quarter.

Saudi Arabia has pushed other oil producers to cut their output and keep oil prices high amid concerns about rising U.S. production creating surplus supply.

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