Sabic profit misses estimate



Riyadh: Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) dropped the most in seven months after the petrochemicals maker posted quarterly profit that missed analysts' estimates.

The shares slumped 3.4 per cent, the most since June 15, to 114 riyals, trimming their gain this year to 2.2 per cent. Sabic, as the company is known, has the biggest market value on the benchmark Tadawul All Share Index, which fell 0.9 per cent.

Fourth-quarter profit rose 5.7 per cent to 6.16 billion riyals ($1.64 billion), the Riyadh-based company said. The mean estimate of nine analysts was for a profit of 6.65 billion riyals, according to data.

Sluggish demand
Sabic is among companies affected by sluggish demand for petrochemicals in Europe as the region's economy struggle to recover following the global credit crisis.

 Sales at the state-controlled Sabic, which is cutting jobs and closing some plants in Europe, remained unchanged at 189 billion riyals last year.

"We expect 2014 results to improve as there are forecasts of solid improvements in prices," Mohammed Al Mady, chief executive officer, told reporters in Riyadh yesterday.

Sabic plans to invest in North America and China as they present the most attractive opportunities, he said. "We have a desire to invest in North America, as we like to participate in markets that present a challenge to us," Al Mady said.

"We certainly want to invest in China as well since it has the biggest market globally," Al Mady added.

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