It's the deal many foreign and local investors have been looking for.
In a recent interview to al Sharq al Awsat daily, the Saudi electricity and industry minister, Dr. Hashem Ben Abdullah Yamani, said the government is preparing a time table to privatize the state share in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC). This share equals 70 percent of the $2.66 billion of SABIC, the biggest company in the Middle East region. The minister said the kingdom is now much better than in the past to privatize state-owned enterprises since the government created the privatization ministerial committee and the supreme economic council.
In the past two years, SABIC sales shrank dramatically as petrochemical prices sunk on world markets. This caused SABIC's debt to rise to $4.47 billion.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)