SABIC PROFIT UP 10.7%
REUTERS - Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the world's fourth-biggest petrochemicals company, reported a 10.7 percent rise in third-quarter net profit on Sunday, beating analysts' estimates.
Majority state-owned SABIC made a net profit of 5.79 billion riyals ($1.54 billion) in the three months to Sept. 30, up from 5.23 billion riyals in the year-earlier period, the company said in a bourse statement.
The net profit was better than the average net profit of 4.27 billion riyals forecast by four analysts.
It was the company's biggest profit since the second quarter of 2015, as a recovery in crude prices buoyed earnings.
SABIC, the biggest company on Saudi Arabia's Tadawul stock exchange with a market capitalisation of nearly $79 billion, is 70 percent owned by the kingdom's Public Investment Fund and 5.7 percent owned directly by the government.
Its results are closely tied to oil prices and global economic growth because its products -- plastics, fertilisers and metals -- are used extensively in construction, agriculture, industry and the manufacture of consumer goods. ($1 = 3.7501 riyals)
SABIC, which aims to be the world's third-biggest petrochemicals producer, attributed the profit rise to higher average selling prices and higher sales quantities.
The company had expected this year to be positive in terms of economic growth in key markets. However, its steel unit Hadeed weighed on its results in the second quarter, when net profit fell 25 percent from the prior year.
Chief Executive Yousef al-Benyan told Reuters in May the firm is evaluating acquisition opportunities in the range of $3 billion to $6 billion in petrochemicals, speciality chemicals and fertilisers and aims to do the first such deal in the fourth quarter of this year.
SABIC's expansion is driven by the need to be closer to key markets and feedstock. Constraints in new gas supplies in Saudi Arabia are forcing petrochemical producers to look abroad for expansion.
The company is making progress towards major investment in the United States with an affiliate of U.S. Exxon Mobil. It completed its acquisition of SADAF, which had been a Saudi-based joint venture with Shell Arabia, in August.
It is also pursuing its first project with oil giant Saudi Aramco - development of an oil-to-chemicals project in Saudi Arabia which analysts see as a breakthrough in the industry.
Benyan told Reuters on the sidelines of an investment conference in Riyadh on Thursday that he hoped to complete the joint venture agreement by the end of the year.
|June, 22, 13:40:00|
|June, 22, 13:35:00|
|June, 22, 13:30:00|
|June, 22, 13:25:00|
|June, 22, 13:20:00|
|June, 22, 13:15:00|
U.S. EIA - Venezuela holds the largest oil reserves in the world, in large part because of the heavy oil reserves in the Orinoco Oil Basin. In addition to oil reserves, Venezuela has sizeable natural gas reserves, although the development of natural gas lags significantly behind that of oil. However, in the wake of political and economic instability in the country, crude oil production has dramatically decreased, reaching a multi-decades low in mid-2018.
U.S. BEA - The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $124.1 billion (preliminary) in the first quarter of 2018 from $116.1 billion (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit was 2.5 percent of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter, up from 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter.
WNN - There are 126 operational power reactors in 14 EU Member States, providing more than one-quarter of the bloc's total electricity production. In its Communication on the Nuclear Illustrative Program (PINC) published last year, the European Commission expects nuclear to maintain its significant role in Europe's energy mix up to 2050. This would require investment of some EUR40-50 billion (USD46-58 billion) in nuclear LTO by 2050.
REUTERS - Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was up 50 cents at $75.58 a barrel by 0835 GMT. U.S. light crude CLc1 was 50 cents higher at $65.57.