SABIC eyes Africa expansion as profits rise

A man walks past the headquarters of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) in Riyadh. (Reuters)
Updated 28 October 2018
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SABIC eyes Africa expansion as profits rise

  • Prices and volumes rise in third quarter
  • Global demand shows positive trend

LONDON: Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) is targeting investments in Africa as the petrochemicals giant taps rising demand for plastics worldwide.
The Riyadh-headquartered chemicals maker reported a 5.3 percent rise in third quarter net income to SR6.1 billion ($1.62 billion) on Sunday, which it attributed to better sales prices and volumes.
The world’s fourth-biggest petrochemicals company is looking for future investment opportunities in Africa, which is a promising market to maintain sales growth, Reuters reported citing its chief executive.
Yousef Al-Benyan also told reporters that the outlook for business in the US, Asia and China was still broadly positive despite some challenges relating to high energy prices.
The vast Saudi petrochemical industry is expected to experience a wave of consolidation this year with SABIC expected to be at the center of that process.
Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest national oil company, is working on buying a stake in SABIC, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser told the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh last week.
Hoever, anti-trust regulations will mean that the company’s planned acquisition of a controlling stake in SABIC is expected to take time, he said.
Petrochemicals are set to account for more than a third of the growth in world oil demand to 2030, and nearly half the growth to 2050, adding nearly 7 million barrels of oil a day by then, the IEA said.
“Our economies are heavily dependent on petrochemicals, but the sector receives far less attention than it deserves,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director.
“Petrochemicals are one of the key blind spots in the global energy debate, especially given the influence they will exert on future energy trends. In fact, our analysis shows they will have a greater influence on the future of oil demand than cars, trucks and aviation.”
Demand for plastics – the key driver for the petchem industry – has outpaced all other bulk materials (such as steel, aluminum, or cement), nearly doubling since 2000, the agency estimates.


Apple China says it will push software update in bid to resolve Qualcomm case

Updated 52 min 51 sec ago
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Apple China says it will push software update in bid to resolve Qualcomm case

  • Apple will carry out the software updates at the start of next week “to address any possible concern about our compliance with the order”
  • Qualcomm has said that a court in China found Apple infringed two patents held by the chipmaker and ordered an immediate ban on sales of older iPhone models

SHANGHAI/SAN FRANCISCO: Apple Inc. , facing a court ban in China on some of its iPhone models over alleged infringement of Qualcomm Inc. patents, said on Friday it will push software updates to users in a bid to resolve potential issues.
Apple will carry out the software updates at the start of next week “to address any possible concern about our compliance with the order,” the firm said in a statement sent to Reuters.
Earlier this week, Qualcomm said a Chinese court had ordered a ban on sales of some older Apple iPhone models for violating two of its patents, though intellectual property lawyers said the ban would still likely take time to enforce.
“Based on the iPhone models we offer today in China, we believe we are in compliance,” Apple said.
“Early next week we will deliver a software update for iPhone users in China addressing the minor functionality of the two patents at issue in the case.”
The case, brought by Qualcomm, is part of a global patent dispute between the two US companies that includes dozens of lawsuits. It creates uncertainty over Apple’s business in one of its biggest markets at a time when concerns over waning demand for new iPhones are battering its shares.
Qualcomm has said that the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China found Apple infringed two patents held by the chipmaker and ordered an immediate ban on sales of older iPhone models, from the 6S through the X.
Apple has said that all of its phone models remained on sale in mainland China and that it had filed a request for reconsideration with the court. All the models appeared to be available to buy on Apple’s China website on Friday.
Qualcomm, the biggest supplier of chips for mobile phones, filed its case in China in late 2017, arguing that Apple infringed patents on features related to resizing photographs and managing apps on a touch screen.