Saudi Arabia’s SABIC records 5.4 percent rise in third-quarter net profit

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Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the world’s fourth-biggest petrochemicals company, is evaluating investment opportunities in Africa, China and the United States, underpinned by a positive global economic outlook, its chief executive said on Sunday.

The petrochemical giant reported earlier on Sunday a 5.4 percent rise in third-quarter net profit citing higher average selling prices and increase in sale volumes.

Yousef al-Benyan told reporters at a press conference that he hoped the next quarter would be positive.

“The global economy is still growing at more than 2.9 percent and this is an indicator for sustainable growth in the petrochemical industry,” he said.

“In Saudi Arabia, the economy is expected to grow 2.2 percent in 2019 and 2.4 percent in 2019, so we have a positive outlook,” he added.

SABIC made a net profit of 6.1 billion riyals ($1.63 billion) in the three months to Sept. 30, up from 5.8 billion riyals in the year-earlier period, the company said in a bourse statement.

Analysts expected SABIC to make a net profit of around 5.8 billion riyals in the third quarter, according to the average of estimates of three analysts polled by Refinitiv.

To boost growth, SABIC is looking for investment opportunities in Africa, which is a promising market for maintaining sales growth, Benyan said.

He added that the outlook for business in the United States, Asia and China remained positive despite some challenges from high energy prices.

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