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tv   Saudi Aramco The Company The State  Al Jazeera  December 2, 2019 11:00pm-12:01am +03

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years after highlighting these abuses people in power returns to rumania in a 2 part series and discovers the scandal runs the field europe's recurring shame on al jazeera. hello i'm barbara starr in london these are the top stories on al-jazeera police in the democratic republic of congo say that 4 people were killed on monday during protests in the eastern town of benny 3 protesters and one policeman gunfire was heard as civilians marched on a un peacekeeping base in the area the locals are protesting against what they feel is a lack of protection from the un after a recent spate of attacks by on dreadful groups the congolese army has been deployed to stop the menace called for calm so it. will be that we are calling on our populations and all other members of society in north kivu province
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to stop working with our enemy. the population should not forget about the real enemy the police is not the enemy to your c. soldiers is not the enemy un is not the enemy the real enemy is the a.d.f. rebels unfortunately the a.d.f. rebels are operating throughout the population the protests are disturbing the army from its objective of military operations european stock markets posted their biggest fall in 2 months after u.s. president donald trump announced new tariffs on argentina and brazil trump tweeted that he would reimpose tariffs on their steel and imports from said that the 2 countries had been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies. protesters in malta have tried to block politicians from leaving parliament his rallies continue over the murder case of a journalist 2 years ago them
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a stranger's along with the family of the victim are calling for prime minister joseph katz to step down immediately to allow a full investigation into the death muscat announced his resignation on sunday but said that he would stay on until january he's facing mounting pressure over the government's handling of. deaths in a 2017 car bombing barker has more now from the maltese capital valetta. some extraordinary scenes in the last hour outside the parliament building here in central we saw a very large crowd surrounding the building why well because inside members of the ruling labor party ministers from the labor party have be meeting there for some time they have been trapped inside we gather from those in the know there's some leading ministers possibly even the outgoing prime minister himself may have been able to slip out of the back door through a tunnel all of that as these protesters insist that they will continue to put pressure on muscat to step down immediately they say the has to do it now because
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he continues to be embroiled and closely associated with the leading ministers within his cabinet who now been implicated not only in corruption but in murder the murder of daphne. in 2017 while now joined by her son andrew andrew of course this is being seen by some as something of a turning point but when it comes to finding justice for your mother how are you reading what's happening here in villette or this is this is the 1st time in 2 years of a lot of any hope that this would be a turning point for the country 2 years ago we hope my mother's assassination would be enough for people to realize that organized crime how taken office in this country but it wasn't on earth and that's a lesson about the power of propaganda and how it's those doubts in people's minds people who knew instinctively my mother had been murdered by someone very powerful
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in government in this country but who for 2 years were confused and who were led to believe that it was low level criminals these of smugglers spies started was done to destabilize the government but now we know the truth as the government itself was involved in my mother's assassination. the best toll from some of those missiles crisis has risen to 5348 of the victims were aged 4 years or younger so see outbreak began in october schools have been closed and travel restricted infection rates have jumped more than 10 fold in 2 weeks the government has been shot and everyone has been urged to help with the epidemic those of the top stories stay with us a look at saudi aramco the company and the state is the next day. it
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seemed like a great idea the world's largest oil producing company pumping millions of barrels a day to become the world's largest ever traded stock on corsican had just met the how i see it had been for yeah we're not looking to walk to be asleep and over him because prince eager to make his mark as a reformer wanted to partially trade saudi aramco for a fellow you ation of truth trillion dollars but the venture failed to get off the ground and the prince's vision 2030 now seems blurry. saudi aramco is almost like the basis of politics in saudi arabia they are always intrinsically tied everybody in saudi arabia in one way or another is a beneficiary saudi aramco a strong saudi arabia it needs a strong rand paul and vice versa as well the history of saudi aramco is the history of saudi arabia transforming itself from an isolated tribal society into
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a global presence. get it right you reap a windfall get it wrong and the risk is huge the whole saudi economy what's at stake. all the balance be done in a hollow that you face that remains and. with a new paradigm in the world they run the risk of being toppled royal family could be running for the whole. issue is really you know is an i.p.o. best for the company and when you look at graeme coke the company you have to realize that unlike other companies. around co operated for years without ever imagining and i p o. so they've never had to make decisions. for somebody maybe going to be publicly
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listed or we'd like to publish this here's how we need to have our finances a great here's the kind of growth that we need to be showing in our financial statements to make investors see our value. analysts have never followed around because it was never seen as a potential investment and now that's changing around for many years and had a strategy of forming term growth long term revenue because their idea was that they were making money for the benefit of the saudi state if they're going to i.p.o. then they've got a sudden they think about their quarterly reports and that make change how they invest and that may not be the best strategy for saudi arabia or the kingdom holds about 16 percent of the world's oil reserves it's the largest exporter of petroleum among opec countries and that means its economy relies heavily on oil 90
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percent of exports 87 percent of budget revenues and nearly half of g.d.p. comes from oil. towering over these numbers is the company which digs out refined and exports that oil it pumps one out of every 8 barrels of oil in the world and it's the only company which can produce a barrel of oil for less than $10.00. says it employs 65000 people but creates direct and indirect work for hundreds of thousands in the came so if it's doing so well why let it go. i think there was a strong case for the i.p.o. and there still is for the selling off a stake of saudi aramco and there are lots of reasons for it now it's been talking about diversifying its economy for years i think the specter of. climate action has finally made the saudis get serious about it and really the only way to diversify is through aramco i mean aramco is the source of revenues that saudi state needs to
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build other economic sectors even though he said his big and i did countries you know the middle east but still if he put the police officers some day a sample of the oil will be depleted pretty exhausted so they have to thing that you know you have to be fired here and have to get the economy was kind of ironic you're going to be relying on oil to diversify away from fossil fuels so if you think about saudi risk it's 100 percent owner of this company that supplies almost 100 percent of its government budget ok if they if it sees a risk to to that company going to far off risk it's nice start diversifying that risk and passing some of that along to foreign investors is one way of doing it. concerns about radical changes in strategy put a spanner in the works for saudi aramco is public listed for the 1st time in its
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history the company would have to disclose everything i think when you consider the size and scope of the opportunity there's a lot of emotion and also a lot of momentum and sometimes a momentum and emotion get rolling you may lose sight of the reality of what you had to do when it came to. affectively being now an open public company before my. vision 2030 was unveiled as a master plan for socio economic reforms as a result women can drive cinemas have begun to pop up. mohammed bin so mom's aim was to reorient the saudi economy away from oil and reassure investors that saudi arabia is stable and progressive. a lot has changed since the prince's international public relations drive the efforts to convince businessmen to feel comfortable working in the kingdom also faced
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a blow when top saudi business kingpins were put under arrest in an opaque anti corruption drug and as a cascading effect there has been flight of capital reduced foreign investment increased saudi borrowing and a halt on saudi aramco its i.p.o. . the increase in internal repression inside the kingdom you know locking up of folks inside the the ritz carlton a lot of those were heads of family businesses or large companies or big conglomerates you know that gives foreign investors pause. the murder of one journalist has washed away the veneer of change and quashed investor confidence you know it's tough going for the legacy i'm asking for people to be allowed to speak for the name of. can the interest of a stakeholder ever get priority over the kingdom the privatization process would
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mean saudi oil reserves will be up for scrutiny and to ramp those finances will be in the public eye. you go for mining a business where you have endless resources and no oversight to one day having to register your company with the exchange and have to disclose every single number. the company's had over the last 5 to 10 years every piece of cap ex every decision that's been made every partnership every single thing you've done is now in the public purview why the move. on. i think begin by. because. if you're a private company that's run so well it's painful because you have answer a lot of question but not nearly as painful as after you take people's money. those
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saudi economists who dared to raise concerns about the prince's ambitious 2030 plans are in jail now you can and doesn't. mean that you're not a candidate couldn't it i don't know that's. a day before the murder prominent economist is samo samo was indicted on terrorism related charges his crime was providing analysis some of which explained that a high valuation of aramco could mean that the kingdom will not get any oil revenue for decades because all of this will go into a ramp oh controlled by shareholders. in the beginning stages you have to take anyone's money because it is just disclosing to the exchanges here's how we run our business here's why you should be comfortable listing us you then go out to raise capital. and once you're taking someone else's money they own those shares and
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you're a company for the people by the people you know not a company for the management management or the or the king. and the transitions massive. that changeover from state control to a public list which began in 2017 is now shelved for years to come here rahm co-executors have also left or been moved. so that process for a company like this probably a year and a half so like a tech start up for you have a slide presentation and some hope you have a business that changes global markets for decades and decades so it's a process that will be expansive. it will be intrusive. and it will be transformative. saudi aramco places the kingdom's reserves at 261000000000 barrels of oil but that magic number with no real 3rd party audit has
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remained more or less constant for nearly 30 years since the 1980 s. there have been rising production changes in technology and no announcements of major oil discoveries in the kingdom other oil giants such as shell and exxon have revised down their reserves during this period. if on average saudi production was at 9000000 barrels a day in the last 30 years a ram co has pumped out nearly 100000000000 barrels without a dent in its 261000000000 reserves and the jury's out on how much they actually have and what it's worth. looking at their reserves figures you know makes if you look too closely at it you start to wonder how it can stay roughly constant from year to year when they're they're producing an export and so much oil every year disclosure of the reserves it's a top secret in saudi arabia and i think that's a significant concern on the part of aramco executives they treat their reserves
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with kid gloves bare duty is to get the most out of these reserves in the best way possible the reserve confidence will only be consistent with 3rd parties verifying the information that's got to be done through a regulatory fashion that everyone's comfortable it can't just be something a company says and and hopes is the case you've got to verify. whatever other qualities god may have given the saudis he gave them a lot of wealth in the ground and that's not going to go away so we want might quibble over the over the reserves. but you know the saudis have the ability to do fracking. they haven't even started basically. but would the possibility of higher reserves be enough for investors to finance or impose i.p.o. probably the biggest downside is the transparency that would have resulted around
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saudi reserves saudi oil reserves that doesn't change very much from year to year and really hasn't changed much over the past couple of decades it doesn't give much insight beyond the single number you know around 260000000000 barrels if saudi aramco would have listed shares in the new york stock exchange or the london stock exchange the regulators would force saudi arabia to come clean on all of its reserves you know how much of that is proven probable or otherwise i think that's a tough sell within the kingdom within saudi aramco and within the ministry and all the way up to the head of state i don't think so do you arabia is not trustworthy when it comes to their reserves i think their reserves that there but the capacity is another question saudi aramco has never produced 12 and a half 1000000 barrels a day and has never come within about a 1000000 barrels
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a day of that aramco says that it can reach that level of capacity after a period of about 6 months of additional investment right so we can't just twist a few valves and crank up an extra $2000000.00 barrels a day i can remember on one occasion. sitting in the office of the. minister petroleum who did not know that i understood arabic. when one of his hades came rushing in. and said we've got we've proved the reserves in this particular new field they'd found and he said well how much is it may said 3000000000 barrels and he said oh it's too small kaput. well that's twice the alaska reserve if you had full access to to ramp those reserves figures and you know other inside details about its revenue streams and whatnot you know anybody
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with a smartphone could could 2nd guessed saudi minister you know right now when the when the oil minister goes to vienna to speak in public at an opaque meeting and you can see him surrounded by hoards of reporters each shoving their voice recorder in his face to catch a cold you know snippet of you know what he says about you know saudi plans saudi reserves saudi oil production. you know sod it saudi market strategy the world will be as quite as dependent on the oil minister for information you know sort of on the walk the. you know the secrets of whatever and co was going to do also you know you put those those that information out there it's out there for everyone. we should just be dynamic and responsive the reserves matter because the reserves and output give saudi arabia the regional and international clout as the largest producer in the oil producing club of nations known as opec vacation travel
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watching billions and billions and billions of dollars of industry get moved by opec. and opec being a saudi driven organization they have to be meticulous the company is so good at what it does that that also brings its leaders a certain amount of political clout when it comes to opec and when it comes to other dealings with other countries a practice about the capo and. the early ones because they're belies the oil price at the some extent in that if you did their part bag i think it's still embodied then to how then. we can bring the good guys are the prize but it's not the prize that benefits are going to prove himself and the prize that also benefited the producer and consumer. the studio for the good in the comic organization with
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everything focused on fundamentals focused on addressing the global markets needs to sort of reliable supply is the draw of them saudi arabia is the keystone in opec it is the big dog it's the ringleader if you will within opec opec members maintain a little bit here and there no one has more than $1000000.00 barrels per day of spare oil production capacity that that i know but may teams that that kind of level of spare capacity. at you know as as a policy that saudi arabia saudi aramco typically maintain you know a w2w barrels 2000000 barrels a day of oil production capacity that they don't use ok so no profit oriented firm would ever do this you wouldn't invest all the billions in developing oil fields and pipelines and storage facilities and production infrastructure and then just leave it dormant saudi aramco has done it at the behest of the saudi state.
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and you know it's the key aspect in the saudi u.s. partnership the ramp those ability to bring more oil production online and its willingness to cut back at times and markets are oversupplied let's go to the crux of the the u.s. and saudi strategic partnership. saudi arabia if we broke with them i think your oil prices would go through the roof i've kept them down they've helped me keep them down right now we have lower oil prices are relatively i'd like to see it go down even lower. billions of dollars are treated at the world's largest stock exchange it's been. this is usual on wall street but like other exchanges around the world it also tried to sway saudi aramco to live in new york even the us president weighed in on his preferred medium of communication but the strict
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requirements remained a deterrent for the i.p.o. which was being called the world's largest offering it would be a double whammy for mohammed bin so much to not get the 2 trillion dollars valuation and having to compromise on not listing on the world's largest stock market. you're the world's largest oil producer and you don't list in the world's largest stock exchange that's definitely something i definitely better access to capital new york is terribly complicated by virtue of the 911 hangover so i thought from the beginning it was quite you know there's a nice thing to dangle before the americans but it was probably not going to come to us you know there aren't that many exchanges that can do this one did and new york were the 2 main ones that you know that they could really handle something like this both of which have pretty stringent transparency requirements new york's more south. london was signaling that it was willing to roll back.
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some of its transparency requirements and make a special deal for aramco the prince's i.p.o. hit the brakes from a lofty 2 trillion dollar valuation to uncertainty about the size of saudi reserves for litigation risks to stringent requirements from stock exchanges but the reality was different from the political statements. i think the 2 trillion dollar number of is significant for saudis but not significant for the rest of them are talking about a business that dwarfs almost every business in the us and p. $500.00 i would say 2 trillion dollars is a high valuation it's not unachievable when you look at what the size of a. this is where there's a trillion trillion after 2 trillion the scales all relative it's massive and so if you have a business earning $23400000000000.00 a year there's a multiple put on it. and the market's going to say well even though you're
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a trillion dollar business give or take whether you're one trillion or 3 trillion is going to be dependent on your earnings and your decline curves and your gross strategy what type of growth percent is going to put on your business it's a huge number there's no question about it whether you look at the high level we look at the low level it's huge it's a huge i.p.o. huge company and so i guess what you're asking me is how do they expect to sell it i think there's enough money out there that can cover it but if on the other hand the global economy should begin to take down would then it's going to be a hard sell they would have to lower the price putting a line in the sand is is strong and smart from your own perspective but the market's going to determine what they feel comfortable about buying. your stock it
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that's worth what someone tells you it's worth but we hope so when muhammad when someone announced the remco i.p.o. and he basically said we're looking for a valuation of 2 trillion dollars that's the largest valuation of all time for any company and that's of those for the whole company they were never talking about selling any more than 5 percent so it seems like they're looking to raise $100000000000.00 which is a large amount but not that much so the quip but the question is really is a ram co valued at 2 trillion dollars what are their oil reserves which is really tends to be the bulk of what makes up an oil company valuation now we're also has a lot of other assets around the world not oil not upstream oil assets but they own shares in refineries in china in south korea they own oil storage facilities in japan that they own the largest oil refinery in the united states and they also
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have a lot of research and development things going on they've also got petro chemical and oil refineries in saudi arabia so the company is worth more than what they dig out of the ground and sell but does that get us to 2 trillion dollars the answer also depends on what the price of oil is at the time of the i.p.o. and when they announced the i.p.o. we were in the midst of a very period of very low well prices so you could see i would be very hard to reach a 2 trillion dollars valuation in say 2017 when the price of oil was you know $50.00 or $55.00 a barrel. it's an indirect devaluation of the saudi economy which is willow and. so it's not just a company with a proposed 2 trillion dollar price tag. there's a major problem with valuing the company. what is it that's being offered
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some slice of the overall company. but no direct ownership of any part of it how much are the reserves after all are they understated or overstated what level of efficiency does saudi aramco have in comparison with other oil companies. where is the future market. mohamed been so months vision was to take the money from the i.p.o. to revamp the saudi public investment fund which would play a leading role in developing non oil industries but that fund has already started borrowing money instead of stacking up oil revenues the 10s of billions expected from a ram code never arrived and global banks provided their 1st ever loan of $11000000000.00 the i.p.o. it seems to be from what people say was designed to generate cash for the public
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investment fund of saudi arabia which is designed to make investments for the future not to use for the saudi budget not to use for those kind of projects but really a sovereign wealth fund to rely on you know when oil is no longer foreign commodity here you have a company which has been deliberately nontransparent is now listed on any market that has no shareholders other than the kingdom itself to which to report in saudi arabia is not a notably free press environment and it is not a democracy and accountability is uncertain. from ancient emperors to communist leaders. age old philosophies and the rule of order remain central to the world to build this living civilization. in the past about 2 part series the big picture charts how
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a history spanning by 1000 years sheet china's world in the industrialized world. but china complex part one. on al-jazeera. hello i'm barbara starr in london with the top stories on al-jazeera police in the democratic republic of congo say 4 people were killed on monday during protests in the eastern town of benny 3 protesters and one policeman gunfire was heard as civilians marched towards a un peacekeeping base in the area the congolese army was deployed to stop them from getting close to european stock markets posted their biggest fall in 2 months after u.s. president donald trump announced that he's reimposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from argentina and brazil he said the 2 countries had been presiding over
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a massive devaluation of their currency is that best told from some of those needles crisis has risen to 53 and 48 of those victims were aged 4 years or younger since it began in october schools have been closed and travel restricted infection rates are climbing in just over 2 weeks the death toll has jumped more than 10 fold the world health organization regional office for the western pacific says vaccines are the safest and most effective way to tackle the measles outbreak. you know that the jews that vaccines are some of the safest interventions that we have access to measles vaccine alone has prevented over 21000000 deaths since 2000. the deaths and that did occur couple years ago were extremely tragic because they were preventable errors do occur but it was not a problem with the vaccine it was it was it was an unfortunate error in administration protesters amol to have blocked politicians from leaving parliament his rallies continue there over the murder case of
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a journalist who was killed 2 years ago demonstrators and the family of definite had wanted are calling for prime minister joseph muscat to step down immediately to allow a full investigation into her death post that announced his resignation on sunday but said that he would stay on until january the philippines government has issued a tropical cyclone warning as a thai food began to make landfall there on monday evening tens of thousands of people have been evacuated in northeast of regions of the country operations of the manila international airport will be temporarily suspended there are warnings of severe flooding in 3 provinces those other top stories stay with us saudi aramco the company and the state continues the extent i'm going to have the al-jazeera news hour for you in just under half an hour i hope you'll join me then. the kingdom is home to the most important religious sites for muslims but saudi
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arabia is a real source of power is it spoiled well into ram co converts that black gold into dollars and real so. many academics experts and oil economist either refused or refrain from speaking to us as soon as they heard it's about the kingdom's most potent economic firepower. the saudis can use oil as a weapon. opec did it in 1973 they put it in embargo and what happened to the price of oil. it shot up over $100.00 a few years ago we saw oil prices tumble. created that. it was the saudis. they flooded the market. why they wanted to put shallow oil out of business well it backfired.
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the partnership between the u.s. and saudi arabia rests on linked interests many of which have either disappeared or are now problematic they basic bargain of. preferred access to energy in return for security protection but the united states is now the spring producer internationally for oil given fracking and we are an energy exporter not dependent on the gulf the support that the saudis provided by making american foreign policy how loud. except of all the muslims. now the muslim world is so divided and the united states is so islamophobia that that bargain is gone. saudi arabia also controls of vast media empire for decades it's been tens of millions of dollars to lobby cultural institutions think tanks universities even government all to improve the kingdom's image that's jumped from
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$10000000.00 spent in 2016 to more than $27000000.00 today used to fuel a sophisticated saudi influence machine that money shapes policy and perceptions and it also covers up criticism of the kingdom much of this was revealed in 2015 when wiki leaks published thousands of cable exchanges between saudi diplomats posted abroad and the foreign ministry. houston texas is an oil town. it's a testament to saudi soft power and how big saudi money is securely invested in the us regardless of what saudi arabia is accused of and even a local marathon here is sponsored by a ram code but whether it's $911.00 or the murder of the saudi journalist jamal khashoggi it all continues to cast
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a shadow over the kingdom's image abroad. in terms of jasta which is the law that was passed basically saying that services can sue the saudi government for the role and 911. that has been put forward as a reason not to list on the new york stock exchange. i'm not a lawyer but it would not be a real concern at all evidence that at least that's available if the u.s. government has presented an declassified is not significant enough to probably convict or to get a. ruling you know to be able to sue the saudi them so there's that but say it was . then the question is ok so what kind of assets can you go after and if you're saying that aramco is an asset of the saudi government and therefore should pay well there's already a lot of aramco investment in the united states that they can go after they can go
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after moti by the largest refinery they have research centers all over there is around headquarters services company in in america i think that that's a convenient excuse to give but if they wanted to list on the new york stock exchange it's not really a significant barrier. motif as the largest refinery in the united states which goes through old whopping 6 100000 barrels a day it's more than 2000 employees work near the gulf of mexico but this behemoth facility isn't u.s. it's a subsidiary of the centerpiece of saudi crown prince mohammed bin vision 2030 he wants to expand the petro chemicals business instead of the kingdom's heavy reliance on oil sales motif is so influential in port arthur goodwill tiva security sent a policeman to stop us from filming they even called the police to hold us until a very good question of why journalists were filming their facilities.
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despite tight control over media and any opinion which doesn't fall in line with that of the kingdom efforts to privatized had been a hard sell at home. with very little accountability of the ruling family radical changes are viewed with suspicion by many ordinary saudis. one of the major objections by people in the kingdom was their fear that the money would go into the pockets of the royal family rather than be used in a transparent way to provide government services to the people in other words waste fraud and hispanics front are a concern on the part of the public they're also concerned by foreigners i think the conference is trying to create an environment conducive to foreign investment but events things keep happening questions keep getting raised that make that
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difficult. geo political power is to is the exclusive access to information about saudi reserves they hold that information very close and they let it out and in dribs and drabs it's almost like the strategic ambiguity around the israeli nuclear weapons capability they release what they choose to release when they choose to release it that's a source of power very similar with the oil reserves in saudi arabia. this is not the 1st time reforms have been promised in saudi arabia or the 1st time when those promises have been left up by western powers and lauded by the media. since the 1950 s. the new york times which likes to be called the newspaper of record has given similar coverage to saudi kings and princes the media has given them titles such as trailblazers and performers similar to the current crown prince even the glitzy 2030 roadmap hints at promises. well the vision itself is hardly
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new this was largely drawn out there by consultants mckinsey in particular. and they were able to do that quickly because the ministry of planning in saudi arabia had all these ideas. there to be gathered up so the vision isn't new the drive for change in the kingdom transformative drive was also not new in many ways i had been so many resembles his grandfather. close he's old so it would different methods of blows these united kingdom with tribal marriages bewildering number of marriages and divorces brought different groups in the society and a into his family he conducted a war in the saudi south. which is on a sea of which took land from yemen and made it definitively part of saudi arabia
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he suppressed religious uprisings there are many similarities one could say and it worked whether the current drive will work or not is unknown and certainly not the 1st time claims of reform have been made in saudi arabia for example king faisel when he became king he made a lot of very important changes and reforms in saudi arabia that before that the government had been spending very recklessly and carelessly under king his brother king so it was reported actually back he would carry around in his pocket of the budget and whenever he would see a minister say in the halls or something he would question that he would say how are you spending this money what are you doing with it so this is not the 1st time that that reforms have been tried probably every previous king in saudi arabia has announced it to some extent and there have been one of the key aspects i think that a lot of the reform plans always include
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a mega projects. and in my mind those mega projects never really pan out and so that's always something to be wary of you can hold up the ramp i.p.o. is the key example of that but there were lots of other privatisations that would have really helped kind of. move saudi arabia's economy from various state status based shoe a much more diverse and vibrant private economy so for example they wanted to sell parts of siberia airlines of of different national companies and it really almost seems like the reverse is happening that the state is actually more involved in the economy as opposed to less involved and that i think is probably not a good sign for developing a diverse and vibrant private economy but at the same time there are ships in the whole channel and social expectations that have to occur and saudi arabia and so those changes i think a setting a year of 2030 is probably very. ambitious i think the saudis realize that
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the time has come that they must change the way they run the economy where they do business otherwise what would happen in. iraq look what happened with iran would put happen with libya it's not too far fetched to think that that can happen with saudi arabia. yemen or the gentleman no i wouldn't or you i mean you have done that could you tell you look down to the you know overall as a whole city below below me i mean you have leadership that is not the spotlight but there were. one with him 100 other she kind of the time of them that are now that she come to help you know have a she turned to dust or maybe you just. need to make them. help.
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the ongoing mourning in yemen is not just creating global pressure but also a strain on the saudi economy in addition tens of thousands of foreign workers have been expelled from saudi arabia. the government's reduction in subsidies for fuel and utilities has become a burden it's had to borrow aggressively to plug the budget deficit. well the budgetary crisis is not new i did have a conversation with the late then crown prince abdullah later king abdullah who made a real effort in the late ninety's to institute a tax system other than that. and the conversation went like this i said to him you know i think you have a problem here because for example in the united states if i take
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a section of desert that's a part of nevada and i either invest my own money or i borrow money from a bank and i build an industrial estate a park and a related community and i don't ask the government for anything the government still has to come up with all sorts of services police education and waste water management road maintenance even if i build the roads initially and so forth. and the same is true in saudi arabia if except even more so because at that time at least saudi arabia was heavily subsidizing electricity and water and other things that people needed so i said you know the difference is that in the vodka every cent will come back in the form of increased government revenue. and so that the leave the debt will be replaced by a stream of revenue that makes the government whole and enables. higher level of
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service whereas in saudi arabia not on how it comes back basically you have a sister and i said in which private prosperity impoverish is the government the opposite of normal economics so i've said to people. i'll give you a real nigel it's a real parliament and a role in allocating tax resources but in order to do that you've got to pay taxes and he said i came very close to getting a consensus on this in the end i failed the merchants particularly in the western province would not agree so it's difficult to rationalize a big investments in a country that's already a hard sell for investors anyway because of you know the visa requirements and red tape and you know lifestyle issues in saudi arabia a lot of a lot of foreigners it's not a you know considered
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a great destination for you know 2nd homeowners or for you know foreigners who are looking to move their families and put their kids in the local schools you know they would go to dubai abu dhabi or doha to go to the region. so it's you know sat here has never been a real easy sell for foreign investment for the size of its economy f.b.i. flows there aren't proportionally as big as they are for some of the more open economies around the region. perhaps the biggest challenge to the saudi economy comes from the wave of change in the way the country is being run through the muḥammad been so mom's pursuit of vision 2036 the traditional order in 2015 when i . think some of my own ascended the throne in short order within a year old power was essentially transferred into the hands of his favorite son from a dance of mine this destroyed the consultative tradition. within the royal family
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and more broadly in the kingdom here you have a young man who has great ambition drive imagination. determined to change things impatient and not willing to wait for consultation so a lot of egos have been bruised a lot of interests have been shaken many people have lodged objections to this fundamental change in the constitutional order in saudi arabia this is before you get to things like. the added corruption drive which. exacted huge amounts of money from the wealthy elite in the kingdom. kings on mon will be the last king of his generation it had always passed from brother to brother to brother and it's clear even though there are still some living brothers or signs of up to ozzy's it has been decided that samana will be the last of that generation. the next generation there are a lot of princes there and
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a lot of them had a great deal of control and in certain segments of the economy and and of saudi society and there always been kind of a balancing act that went on between these different segments of the royal family there been a lot of tensions produced basically traditionally in saudi arabia and in gulf arab societies generally. the kang or the or the i mean here the leader has the same responsibilities as the sheriff in a tribe there's really 2 responsibilities one is to. ensure that decision to taken by consensus after consultation he proclaims a consensus does not. make a decision then impose it the 2nd responsibility is to ensure that the less fortunate the poorer share of the wealth so it's
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a the government or the this case the leader must distribute arms charity to the needy the saudi state is built on these principles the 1st one has been that the compromise as power has been gathered into one man surrounds or perhaps to. the proud parents and his father the members of the family the ruling family who were previously consulted i feel excluded in many cases from the decision making process they would have all be and had to agree together on things almost like different shareholders and it does appear that that process is changing i would be cautious of of saying well it's now different everything is different now it's a one man show that may be the image that they'd like to present to everyone but that doesn't mean that all of the other sources of power have necessarily been eliminated. in fact you know if enough brothers decide that.
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on is not the right way that that couldn't be changed i think for it's too early to write off that process and to say that he has fully consolidated power. behind it has wasted all that time that that is what was said to be good at 533000000 dollars 545000000 dollars there's been a 3 year period from lucrative military contracts to support for each other's wars there is a special relationship between the us president the saudi king and mohamed been some on the list right right there but that special relationship has been under stress like and i love the king king solomon but i said king. we're protecting you you might not be there for 2 weeks without us you have to pay for your village and . we filmed this
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during the period when the saudi government was officially denying that its agents murdered journalist jamal khashoggi the government later confessed to the killing of the saudi consulate in istanbul and admitted it was a premeditated murder. a lot of fingers are pointed at the crown prince for allegedly ordering the killing in turkey but the u.s. president still has unwavering support for muhammad bin salma i don't know if anyone's going to be able to complain of that the crown prince there but i will say this i don't know i don't know but whether he did or whether he did and he denies it vehemently his father denies it became very adamantly. the case remains open regardless of saudi denials and criminal sentences it risks the prince's grip on power for an investment vision to. 13 and aramco i.p.o.
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. despite several attempts and its subsidiaries did not respond to our request for interviews. and. the killing of the saudi journalist that has put them in the spotlight and if they come forward and tell the whole truth of what happened then that will be a sign that they're really ready for a change if not. they may be faced with harsh. economic sanctions. and if that's the case the market. seems to be saying well saudi arabia's economy is going to fall off a cliff on the foreign policy front the kingdom has flirted into a series of adventures none of which have turned out well it is stuck with
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a garrison along with others from the go gulf cooperation council in bahrain. where under arrest continues and shows no sign of abating. it is it has become. really battered by syria which has been a transformative situation in the middle east brought the russians back in as the major foreign player for example. saudi arabia has relationships with turkey have been badly damaged. by this it has. seen fit to divide itself from qatar. and conduct a blockade which again shows no sign of going away and rich essentially divides the gulf cooperation council irreparably and finally of course it is
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a gauged in a war in yemen with no clear objective that is feasible and no more terminations strategy. saudi aramco said failure to launch and to young leaders stumble from one crisis to another are directly linked there is an urgency to rush into things but also a lack of experience. that is really like planning for the growth of a nation. not the. and the growth of the nation takes a lot more planning. you see they've pulled back. because they recognize that this is a transformational moment it's going to take. a lot more time and energy to get into the realm of the public markets if they ever get comfortable they may never become for with us i know there are elements within so deciding who don't want to
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see that change and they feel that this is too much and too soon and too big and the pushback from the government has been they need to be dragged kicking and screaming into these changes and fast is the way it's going to be i see that as a much bigger backlash than even the religious or conservative people is really unemployment and saudis not taking jobs or on they've made a big push to get rid of foreign labor in saudi arabia but the problem is that if you're not replacing that with saudi labor then you're not going to have. an economy and people aren't taking jobs and unemployment remains high despite there being jobs then you've got a significant problem and i see that really as the biggest threat to the changes they can make all the decrees they want but if people don't work people aren't working and making money and they don't see that as a valuable part of their lives than going to pacify people with movie theaters.
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it's all to me a function of how fast they want to get to their end goal which none of us know that the more they're in the street is obviously toil but they need to be more open and that's to keep saudi arabia has to make it on its own to an extended never do and so far it seems to be having difficulty right now there's no substitute for oil so it's not going to go away in the short term you know the writing is on the wall and the saudis have have read it. the saudi crown prince is adamant that he is the hope and joy of change he may have the desire but what he can actually achieve with me is the big question.
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if you're in melbourne you not really enjoying the start of summer snowing in the victorian alps and me yesterday on the day before actually i mean 19 degrees is 28 in cities and he's 60 and you see the wall but the shading on here is redder and redder and further west is 40 degrees on tuesday
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a little less halt maybe on wednesday as the wind change comes in however we haven't seen a great improve to melbourne cup he agrees maybe and still with that cold west with a fair amount of cloud in the sky it's a disappointing start. now we have seen a lot of rain recently doozy and you can see why there is coming down from the doorsteps warm and full of humidity frontal system in there so it's just covered the north and south island and the picture although warm in oakland on tuesday is a wet swan for the whole of the island and looks to science as well wellington's included in that rainbow you don't want to disappear and it will do with the sunshine showing itself for the north on the wednesday at 23 degrees whereas it's still raining for the sas rain is just on its way through japan having been there for 24 hours but there's a lot more snow still to come including a month. i
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really felt liberated as a journalist from iceland going to the truth as i was that's why there's just. this is al-jazeera. hello i'm barbara sara this is the al-jazeera news hour live from london thank you for joining us coming up in the next 60 minutes 4 people are killed this congo security forces stop an angry crowd marching on a u.n. base in eastern p.r.c. . president trump ambushes brazil and argentina announcing he's reimposing tariffs on metal imports from both countries however wrongly may.


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