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Saudi Arabia Bulks Up in Asia to Boost Appeal Before Oil IPO

  • OPEC leader to invest $7 billion in Malaysian refining complex
  • Saudi Aramco to provide as much as 70% of crude feedstock
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Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
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Saudi Arabian Oil Co. bought half of a Malaysian oil refinery and petrochemical plant as it prepares for what may be the biggest ever initial public offering by bulking up its business in Asia, its largest market.

The Middle Eastern oil giant, known as Saudi Aramco, signed a deal with state-owned Petroliam Nasional Bhd. to develop an oil refinery and naphtha cracker in Malaysia’s southern state of Johor and provide up to 70 percent of the crude requirements, the companies said at a briefing Tuesday. Saudi Aramco will invest $7 billion for its stake in the integrated oil and petrochemicals complex and plans to finalize a similar deal in Indonesia on Wednesday.