SABIC CEO: Drop in crude price is of no consequence

Updated 26 October 2014

SABIC CEO: Drop in crude price is of no consequence

Muhammed Al-Mady, CEO and vice chairman of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) said the recent drop in the global oil prices would pick up soon and the increasing global population would increase the demand for oil.
Al-Mady stated this while announcing the third quarter report of the company at a media conference at its headquarters.
He said that SABIC’s investments were not affected by the decline in oil prices since they have been planned for a set period of 20 years. “We always do a feasibility study before embarking on major investment projects,” he said, adding that its investments in China will bring the company good returns.
“We are currently looking for more investment opportunities in Chinese companies,” he noted and added that it is also looking for opportunities in North America, Africa and China.
Speaking to Arab News, he said: “The impact of the declining oil prices on the petrochemical industry is not quite clear. In general it will reduce the prices of the naphta and LPG, which are used as raw materials for the petrochemical industry.
“It will have a beneficial effect on the competition among users of naptha and propane gas,” he said, pointing out that it will not have beneficial effect on countries and companies that use fixed gas prices.
Regarding the world’s first oil-to-chemicals (OTC) complex in Saudi Arabia, he said it is progressing well but it will take some more time since there is a lot of research in it. “It will take some time for its completion,” he said, pointing out that SABIC will announce the commencement of the project as soon as the research and innovation work is finalized. “ I am very optimistic about the project, which would have to compete with Sshale gas and coal for chemical projects,” he stressed.
The company reported a net income for the three months ended Sept. 30 of SR6.18 billion, drop from SR6.47 billion in the corresponding quarter last year. The decrease in the net income was attributed to lower quantities sold and other income, despite lower financial charges.
Slow global economic growth was cited as one of the reasons for the drop in profit. Al-Mady said that Europe is still recovering and China's performance is less than the expectations.
He added that SABIC has achieved net profits amounting to SR19.08 billion in nine months of the fiscal year 2014, compared to SR19.07 billion in the same period of last year. Dividends per share within 9 months amounted to SR6.36, he pointed out.
Since SABIC is ranked among the world’s largest petrochemicals manufacturers, SABIC is a public company based in Riyadh. 70 percent of the company’s shares are owned by the Saudi government, with the remaining 30 percent held by private investors in Saudi Arabia and other countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
SABIC began its operations in 1976 by a Royal decree and its growth has been nothing short of miraculous. Today, the company has operations in over 40 countries with a global work force of over 40,000 individuals.


Case against Ghosn excuse to get him out of Nissan, claim lawyers

Updated 13 November 2019

Case against Ghosn excuse to get him out of Nissan, claim lawyers

  • The former motor giant chief’s legal team has alleged that both his arrest and the prosecution efforts have been illegal

TOKYO: The drama surrounding the arrest of Carlos Ghosn, former boss of motor giants Nissan and Renault, has yet to reach its climax. Yet the plot continues to thicken with each new development.

On Monday, Ghosn’s defense lawyers unveiled court submissions highlighting the circumstances in which the 65-year-old executive was arrested and subsequently held in detention.

“We believe that Mr. Carlos Ghosn is innocent. We believe that the arrest and the prosecution efforts thus far are illegal and therefore Mr. Ghosn should be immediately released,” the head of his defense team, Junichiro Hironaka, said during a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan in Tokyo on Monday.

Hironaka claimed that Nissan wanted to kick out Carlos Ghosn from the company and therefore put together a team dedicated to searching around for something that would justify them to do that.

“This prosecution motion wasn’t initiated because the prosecution side believed that Mr. Ghosn had committed an illegal act. Fundamentally there is a problem with this being treated as a criminal act,” he said.

Hironaka further said that the prosecutor’s office is supposed to be acting in the public good for everyone and not behalf of a specific corporation.

“From the investigation level, there were various problems and mistakes with this case. Furthermore, the Japanese persecution office can’t reach overseas so they rely on Nissan employees to go into Mr. Ghosn’s offices and residences and removed objects illegally,” he said.

Hironaka said there is no evidence to support the alleged wrongdoing claim that Nissan made payments to SBA in Oman, and Ghosn re-directed that money to himself or his family.

“The amounts that were paid by Nissan matched exactly the amounts due to SBA,” he said.

The lawyer had a similar response to the reports connecting some donations by Ghosn to a school in Lebanon that would somehow benefit himself. “There is absolutely no evidence or factual basis for indicating that,” Hironaka said.

He said that his team is trying to access correct information and find out what evidence the prosecution might have.

“I have made an effort to share information with the media, including the foreign media, during this whole pre-trial motion,” he said.

Under the Japanese system, the prosecutors are not required to disclose all the evidence at their disposal. Japanese law requires that prosecutors must disclose anything related to any evidence related to the specific filings they make.

They must also disclose any evidence that is related to the filings that are made by the defense counsel. However, there is no requirement for them to disclose evidence from other parts.

Ghosn was arrested at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on Nov. 19, 2018, on multiple charges related to his stewardship of the two companies.

The cases involved not only Nissan-Renault and Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors (part of the Franco-Japanese alliance), but also the Japanese and French governments along with various key players from Asia and the Middle East.

Nissan was on the brink of bankruptcy in March 1999, with about 2 trillion yen ($17.6 billion) in interest-bearing debt.

This is when it entered a capital partnership with major French automaker Renault SA. Ghosn has been credited for turning the company around dramatically since then.

However, fears that the high-profile CEO and chairman was planning to merge Nissan into a much larger multinational motor alliance appeared to have fueled speculation regarding the future of the company.

It was reportedly argued within Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government that the automaker would no longer be recognizably Japanese.

The case has larger ramifications and the two governments have routinely become involved in discussions related to its future.

According to news reports, when Macron and Abe met in Buenos Aires, the French president asked that the Franco-Japanese alliance be maintained.

On being asked by Arab News Japan about reports of a prosecution team visiting Saudi Arabia and Oman, Hironaka confirmed that the visit indeed took place after Ghosn’s arrest.

“However, we have not been given any access to any information that they may or may not have gathered there,” he said.