Jamie Carr Columnist

If you ever wondered how the House of Saud keeps itself in personalised 747s complete with essential features such as concert halls and automatically rotating prayer rooms to ensure you are always pointing at Mecca, look no further than Saudi Aramco. Ever since the Saudi government bought out its American partners in 1980, the company has been pouring out cash, but the precise quantity was a little obscure until its 469-page bond prospectus dropped with a mighty thud last week. Plans to float the company were put on hold last year, but it is looking to raise about $10bn to help fund the $69.1bn acquisition of Sabic, hence the lifting of the veil on its numbers. Last year Saudi Aramco produced 10.3-million barrels of oil a day, generating revenues of $355.9bn and net income of a cheeky $111.1bn. This completely dwarfs the performance of rivals that in most circumstances would be viewed as pretty decent-sized players, such as Royal Dutch Shell on $23bn and ExxonMobil on $21bn. Its pro...

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