Bigger, pricier iPhone expected at Apple event Wednesday

Most of the buzz is swirling around a rumored iPhone that is supposed to boast a 6.5-inch screen, up from 5.8 inches on the existing iPhone X. (AFP)
Updated 12 September 2018
0

Bigger, pricier iPhone expected at Apple event Wednesday

  • Apple is expected to release an iPhone with minor updates to last year’s $1,000 model and another version made of cheaper materials
  • Most of the buzz is swirling around a rumored iPhone that is supposed to boast a 6.5-inch screen, up from 5.8 inches on the existing iPhone X

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple is expected to showcase three new iPhones on Wednesday, including its biggest and most expensive model yet, as the company seeks to widen the product’s appeal amid slowing sales growth.
Most of the buzz is swirling around a rumored iPhone that is supposed to boast a 6.5-inch screen, up from 5.8 inches on the existing iPhone X.
If the speculation pans out, the even-bigger iPhone would represent Apple’s attempt to feed consumers’ appetite for increasingly bigger screens as they rely on smartphones to watch and record video, as well as take photos wherever they are.
Apple also is expected to release an iPhone with minor updates to last year’s $1,000 model and another version made of cheaper materials.
Wednesday’s event is being held at Apple’s Cupertino, California, headquarters.


SABIC prepares to meet investors to offer bond

Updated 25 September 2018
0

SABIC prepares to meet investors to offer bond

  • The Kingdom’s petrochemical giant will be meeting investors in London, New York, Los Angeles and Boston from Sept. 25
  • SABIC has also confirmed the appointment of BNP Paribas and Citigroup as global coordinators on the sale

LONDON: Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) is preparing to offer its dollar-denominated unsecured bond to the global market with investor meetings due to start this week.
The Kingdom’s petrochemical giant will be meeting investors in London, New York, Los Angeles and Boston from Sept. 25, according to a filing on the Saudi stock exchange on Tuesday.
The Saudi company is likely to be keen to tap into the heightened international interest in the Kingdom’s financial markets following the lifting of some restrictions on foreign investors’ activities at the start of the year.
SABIC has also confirmed the appointment of BNP Paribas and Citigroup as global coordinators on the sale, alongside HSBC Bank, Mitsubishi UFG Securities EMEA and Standard Chartered Bank acting as joint lead managers, in its Tadawul note.
The proposed issuance has been well-received so far by analysts with ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service assigning an ‘A1’ rating to the proposed senior unsecured notes to be issued by the financial vehicle, referred to as SABIC Capital II, and guaranteed by SABIC itself.
“SABIC’s A1 rating reflects its strong business position in the chemical sector and its ability to weather industry volatility, particularly given its healthy operational cash flows and conservative liquidity profile,” said Rehan Akbar, a senior analyst at Moody’s, in a note on Monday.

 

The bond is anticipated to be used in part to refinance an existing SR11.3 billion ($3 billion) one-year bridge loan raised in January this year to fund the company’s 24.99 percent stake in the Swiss chemical company Clariant, according to the Moody’s note. All regulatory requirements were completed on this acquisition earlier this month.
Cash proceeds from the bond may also be used to repay a $1 billion bond due on Oct. 3, according to Moody’s.
On Tuesday SABIC confirmed that the bond will be used mainly to refinance “outstanding financial obligations” of the company and its subsidiaries.
Analysts at rating agency S&P Global were also upbeat about SABIC’s outlook, with research published on Monday stating that the company has “strong profitability” via its KSA operations and a “strong” liquidity position.
“The debt issuance is helpful for the credit profile in the sense that it extends the company’s debt maturity profile and strengthens its liquidity position,” said Tommy Trask, corporate and infrastructure credit analyst at S&P Global.
The agency currently assigns the petrochemical firm an ‘A Minus’ rating, with a “stable outlook,” which it said reflects its “view on the sovereign as well as its expectations that SABIC will maintain high profitability under current benign industry conditions.”
S&P Global’s report said margins in the global chemical industry will “largely stabilize in 2018 following several years of improvement, attributable to the increase in commodity chemical capacity.”
However, it also warned that a key risk to credit quality is
the trend for mergers and acquisitions within the sector and the “potential negative impact on credit metrics from funding them with debt.”

FACTOID

SABIC operates in more than 50 countries across the world.