Reliance backs Saudi Aramco chairman as independent director

BENGALURU: Reliance Industries Ltd said on Wednesday Saudi Aramco chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan met all regulatory criteria for his appointment as an independent director, pending a shareholder approval on the decision.
Last week, shareholder California State Teachers’ Retirement Fund had decided to vote against the move based on US proxy advisory research firm Glass Lewis’ recommendation.
The voting process on the appointment, made on July 19 for a period of three years, will end on October 19.
Al-Rumayyan’s inclusion to the board was widely seen as part of a process to formalise a deal to sell 20% stake in the Indian conglomerate’s oil-to-chemical business to the world’s top oil exporting company for $15 billion in 2019.
However, Reliance said on Wednesday his appointment has no connection with the transaction, adding that Saudi Aramco will be a part of the deal-related process to spin off the oil-to-chemicals business into a separate unit.
The deal is expected to be completed soon after a delay last year due to pandemic-led hit to oil prices and demand.
Al-Rumayyan, chairman of Aramco’s board, has been the governor of the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia since 2015.

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