State oil giant Saudi Aramco's profit has plunged 73 percent in the second quarter of the year, as a slump in energy demand and prices due to the coronavirus crisis hit sales at the world's biggest oil exporter.
But the company stuck with plans to pay $75bn in dividends this year and CEO Amin Nasser said on Sunday global oil demand was recovering.
All major oil companies have taken a hit in the second quarter as lockdowns to contain the coronavirus limited travel, which reduced oil consumption and sent prices tumbling to levels not seen in nearly two decades.
Aramco, which listed in Riyadh last year in a record $29.4bn flotation, said the rapid spread of COVID-19 globally had significantly reduced demand for crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products.
Nasser told reporters he had seen a partial recovery in the energy market and a pick up in demand as economies gradually open after the easing of coronavirus lockdowns.
"Look at China, their gasoline and diesel demand is almost at pre-COVID 19 levels. We are seeing that Asia is picking up and other markets (too)," he told reporters after announcing the company's quarterly results.
"As countries ease the lockdown, we expect the demand to increase."
SOURCE: Reuters news agency
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