BP takes $1.5 bln charge over US tax changes, joining Shell

A pigeon rests on a BP sign outside a filling station in central London. (AFP/Carl Court)
Updated 02 January 2018
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BP takes $1.5 bln charge over US tax changes, joining Shell

LONDON: BP will take a one-off $1.5 billion charge in its 2017 fourth quarter earnings as a result of new US corporate income tax rules, joining rival Royal Dutch Shell.
The British oil and gas company said on Tuesday the cut in US corporate income tax from 35 percent to 21 percent was expected to positively impact its US earnings in the long run.
But in the short term, lower tax rates would affect its deferred tax assets and liabilities, resulting in a one-off, non-cash charge of $1.5 billion to its fourth quarter results which are due to be announced on Feb. 8, it said.
“The ultimate impact of the change in the US corporate income tax rate is subject to a number of complex provisions in the legislation which BP is reviewing,” BP said in a statement.
Deferred tax assets refer in some cases to a company overpaying taxes in advance and then getting them back in the form of tax relief.
BP has large operations in oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico and onshore shale operations as well as refineries that can process up to 746,000 barrels per day of crude oil, according to its website.
Shell said last week it would incur a one-off charge of $2-$2.5 billion, although the new legislation would have a “favorable” impact on earnings.
On Dec. 22, President Donald Trump signed the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul into law, cutting tax rates for businesses and offering some temporary cuts for some individuals and families.


Potential SABIC deal would affect Saudi Aramco IPO time frame, says CEO Nasser

Updated 20 July 2018
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Potential SABIC deal would affect Saudi Aramco IPO time frame, says CEO Nasser

JEDDAH: A potential deal to buy a stake in petrochemical maker SABIC would affect the time frame of Saudi Aramco's initial public offering (IPO), the oil firm's president and CEO Amin H. Nasser said Friday. 

The IPO of around 5 percent of Aramco, which was initially to take place this year but is now more likely to happen later, would be the world's biggest listing, raising up to $100 billion.

Nasser said that buying a stake in a chemical company like SABIC would positively affect Aramco's revenue, Al Arabiya reported.

“We are still in the very early stages of the discussion to buy a stake in SABIC,” the Aramco CEO said.

“Aramco is ready for the initial offer and the timing remains subject to the state's decision.”

Saudi Aramco said on Thursday it is looking at the possibility of buying a stake in SABIC, a move that could boost the state oil giant’s market valuation ahead of the planned IPO.
Aramco said in a statement that it was in “very early-stage discussions” with the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) to acquire the stake in SABIC via a private transaction. It has no plans to acquire any publicly held shares, it said.
In a separate statement, PIF also said talks about a sale were in early stages. “There is a possibility that no agreement will be reached in relation to this potential transaction,” it said.