India’s Reliance Industries to appoint Aramco chairman as director on its board

India’s Reliance Industries Ltd. will appoint Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan, the chairman of Saudi Aramco, to its board in what could possibly be seen as a precursor to an investment deal between the two big energy companies.

Al-Rumayyan, who is also the governor of the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, will join Reliance as an independent director, Chairman Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, told his company’s annual general meeting.

He will replace YP Trivedi on the board, Ambani said, adding that he was delighted to announce that Al-Rumayyan, who is also the governor of the Public Investment Fund, will join the board.

“I am sure that we will immensely benefit from his rich experience with one of the world’s largest companies, and also one of the largest Sovereign Wealth Funds in the world,” Ambani said.

Reliance, which operates of the world’s biggest refining complex, had agreed to sell a 20% stake to Saudi Aramco for about $15 billion, but the deal was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic that ravaged India’s economy after an extended national lockdown last year.

Ambani had first announced the deal at the 2019 annual general meeting, valuing the entire business at a whopping $75 billion.

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