Oil Price Rebound Boosts Saudi Petchems Sector, Sabic Touts Restructuring Benefit

New reporting rules have severely delayed corporate filings.

Saudi Arabia’s 14 exchange-listed petrochemical firms only completed their Q1 financial filings on 11 May, some three weeks behind previous years’ schedule.

They notched up their best quarterly returns since Q2 2015 with earnings in recent years not surprisingly closely tracking movements in oil prices (see chart) The companies typically buy feedstock at low fixed Saudi prices but sell their output at oil-linked international prices.

Their combined market capitalization also increased to just over SR430bn, their highest since 2013’s total SR555bn.

As usual the petrochemical sector results are dominated by state-owned giant Sabic, which reported an 80% hike in first quarter net profits year-on-year to SR5.24bn ($1.40bn) and a 51% increase over returns for the fourth quarter 2016.


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