International News 14/05

May 14, 2024 No. 74

Amazon has announced a S$12 billion investment in Singapore.

Amazon is set to invest S$12 billion ($8.9 billion) in expanding its cloud computing infrastructure in Singapore over the next four years. This investment forms part of a larger plan, with Amazon's total investment in the Asia Pacific region reaching S$11.5 billion ($8.5 billion) by 2023. Amazon Web Services (AWS) will receive a total investment of S$23 billion ($17 billion) by 2028. AWS has also announced collaborations with the Singapore government, public sector organisations, and corporations to accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI in Singapore. This move forms part of Amazon's broader strategy to build infrastructure in Southeast Asia, joining other tech giants like Microsoft that have also announced significant investments in the region. With a large population of tech-savvy young people, Southeast Asia represents an attractive market for these companies.


Despite a reduction in profit, Aramco has maintained its dividend payments.

Saudi Arabian Oil Company Aramco has announced a 14% decline in net profit for the first quarter of this year, citing falling oil prices and sales volumes as the primary factors. Aramco will be paying a dividend of $31 billion to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its shareholders. The dividend payment was made in order to support the Saudi Arabian government, which relies heavily on revenue from Aramco, in overcoming its budget deficit. As Saudi Arabia seeks to diversify its revenue sources beyond fossil fuels, it is investing in projects such as the futuristic city of Neom with the aim of boosting tourism and sports leagues. Aramco has set a target of paying a total of $124.3 billion in dividends by 2024. The company will pay a basic dividend of $20.3 billion for the first quarter and a performance-related dividend of $10.8 billion in the second quarter.

There has been considerable speculation that Shell is considering the sale of its Malaysian petrol station business to Saudi Aramco.

Energy company Shell is reportedly in talks with Saudi Arabia's state-owned Saudi Aramco to sell its Malaysian petrol station business, the country's second largest network. The deal is estimated to be worth up to $1 billion. Shell has declined to comment on the talks, but has stressed the importance of Malaysia to the company. Saudi Aramco also declined to comment. According to Reuters sources, the talks began in late 2023 and a deal could be finalised in the coming months. The potential size of the deal is estimated to be between $844 million and $1.06 billion. Shell operates around 950 service stations across Southeast Asia, with only Malaysia's state-owned Petronas having a larger network of service stations in the country. In addition to fuel sales, Shell is involved in the sale of industrial lubricants and the production of crude oil and natural gas offshore Malaysia.