(AFP, RIYADH) - The Saudi industrial giant SABIC more than quadrupled its net profits to $549.3 million dollars in the first half of 2000 compared to the same period of last year, the company announced Tuesday.
The surge was due to the increase in world petrochemical prices and demand, said Mohammad Ben Hamad al-Madi, vice president of Saudi Basic Industries Corp.
Before a recovery in oil prices, SABIC's net profits slumped to $130 million in the first half of 1999, down 36 percent compared with the same period of the previous year.
SABIC, which plans to boost capacity to 48 million tonnes per year by 2010, has 19 subsidiaries, which are mainly joint ventures with foreign companies, of whom 16 are based in Saudi Arabia and three in Bahrain.
Chemical products, mainly ethylene, polyethylene and methanol, account for 58 percent of SABIC sales. Fertilizers account for 25 percent, plastic 15 percent and metals (iron and aluminium) two percent.
The group is 70 percent owned by the Saudi government and 30 percent by private investors from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
© Agence France-Presse 2000
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