Saudi Petrochemicals Giant's Quarterly Profit Meets Estimates

(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the Middle East’s biggest petrochemicals producer, posted a 5.4 percent increase in third-quarter profit on higher prices and sales, meeting analysts’ estimates.

Net income rose to 6.1 billion riyals ($1.63 billion) from 5.8 billion riyals a year ago, the Riyadh-based company said in a statement. The average estimate of analysts was for a profit of 6.08 billion riyals. Sales climbed 13 percent to 43.71 billion riyals. .

State-owned Saudi Aramco is in talks to buy shares in Sabic from the country’s sovereign wealth fund as the world’s biggest crude oil exporter expands ahead of a planned initial public offering. Aramco has no plans to acquire any publicly held shares in Sabic.

Shares fell 1.1 percent to 128.20 riyals on the Saudi stock exchange at 11:31 a.m. local time. The stock has gained 26 percent this year compared with an 8 percent increase for the benchmark Tadawul All Share Index.

The company is looking at investment opportunities in China, including in Fujian, Chief Executive Officer Yousef Abdullah Al Benyan told reporters in Riyadh on Sunday. Last month, the company signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a petrochemicals project in Fujian. Sabic has no current plans to issue debt, he said.

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