SABIC CEO: Decline of product prices stopped in past two weeks

Lara Habib

Published: Updated:

Yousef al-Benyan, CEO of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), told Al Arabiya that the prices of its major products declined between 8 and 30 percent as a result of global economic slowdown.

“We noticed that the decline of products’ prices stopped in the past two weeks,” al-Benyan told Al Arabiya on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He noted that slowdown in global economy has particularly been largely confined to China due to the trade war between Beijing and Washington.

“We export 28 percent to Asia, and China acquires 60-70 percent of our sales in the continent. We export 23 percent of SABIC’s sales to Europe but each market has a different strategy. In Europe (for example), we present innovative solutions, different products and different prices. In China, however, we have been present for more than 30 years. The prices declined for everyone and not just for SABIC,” he said.

Commenting on Aramco’s purchase of SABIC’s share of the Public Investment Fund, al-Benyan said: “This operation is between PIF and Aramco. We think this step will unite efforts between the two giants, Aramco oil company and SABIC the petrochemicals company. This will benefit Saudi Arabia and help achieve Vision 2030.”

Bond market

Al-Benyan also said that the company does not have any intention to enter the bond market this year, adding that this is linked to SABIC’s new projects which may require funding in the future.

“Capital expenditures in 2018 were SAR 4.5 billion and we expect the same amount in 2019,” he said.

On SABIC’s acquisition of a company that works in the field of nanotechnology, he said that SABIC has heavily invested in this technology and now has 21 research centers.

“Investment in the nanotechnology has strengthened (our capabilities) in providing innovative solutions,” al-Benyan said, adding that competitive power in the future will be based on two major factors which are human and technological capacity.