SABIC chief says business innovation crucial for UN goals

Saudi's SABIC CEO Yousef al-Benyan attends the Saudi-India Forum in New Delhi, India, February 20, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 30 October 2019

SABIC chief says business innovation crucial for UN goals

  • SABIC recently launched TRUCIRCLE, an initiative that links the company’s innovative circular materials and technologies

RIYADH: Speaking to a group of innovators, investors and global leaders today at the third annual Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh on Tuesday, SABIC CEO and Vice Chairman Yousef Al-Benyan said that innovation and collaboration among global businesses will be crucial to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Speaking on a panel about “Investing for Impact,” Al-Benyan focused on the UN’s SDGs while touting SABIC’s achievements in sustainability and shared future ambitions. “I have said before that there are disruptive forces reshaping our industry, our customers and our world,” he said. “We see these as opportunities to build partnerships and devise innovative solutions that respond to these challenges.”
SABIC recently launched TRUCIRCLE, an initiative that links the company’s innovative circular materials and technologies. It seeks new partners to address one of the world’s most urgent sustainability challenges: The reduction of mixed plastic waste. The program includes bio-based renewable polymers, mechanically recycled polymers and SABIC’s flagship certified circular polymers, which are made from the chemical recycling of mixed plastic waste.

“There are disruptive forces reshaping our industry, our customers and our world.”

Yousef Al-Benyan, SABIC CEO and vice chairman

Circular polymers, Al-Benyan said, are key to fulfilling the promise of a circular economy, and stemming the flow of plastic waste into waterways and ecosystems.  “We are collaborating with our upstream suppliers and downstream customers on disruptive innovation that returns mixed plastic waste back to the original polymer for packaging applications. This is an example of the circular economy at work.”
SABIC has also made strides in reducing carbon dioxide emissions from its industrial processes. These efforts are a crucial part of SABIC’s 2025 strategy, which includes a unique SDGs roadmap. The SDGs are at the heart of the company’s business planning, and remain crucial to its global leadership.


S&P 500 inches closer to record high

Updated 12 August 2020

S&P 500 inches closer to record high

  • US stock market index returns to levels last seen before the onset of coronavirus crisis

NEW YORK: The S&P 500 on Tuesday closed in on its February record high, returning to levels last seen before the onset of the coronavirus crisis that caused one of Wall Street’s most dramatic crashes in history.

The benchmark index was about half a percent below its peak hit on Feb. 19, when investors started dumping shares in anticipation of what proved to be the biggest slump in the US economy since the Great Depression.

Ultra-low interest rates, trillions of dollars in stimulus and, more recently, a better-than-feared second quarter earnings season have allowed all three of Wall Street’s main indexes to recover.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq has led the charge, boosted by “stay-at-home winners” Amazon.com Inc., Netflix Inc. and Apple Inc. The index was down about 0.4 percent.

The blue chip Dow surged 1.2 percent, coming within 5 percent of its February peak.

“You’ve got to admit that this is a market that wants to go up, despite tensions between US-China, despite news of the coronavirus not being particularly encouraging,” said Andrea Cicione, a strategist at TS Lombard.

“We’re facing an emergency from the health, economy and employment point of view — the outlook is a lot less rosy. There’s a disconnect between valuation and the actual outlook even though lower rates to some degree justify high valuation.”

Aiding sentiment, President Vladimir Putin claimed Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine. But the approval’s speed has concerned some experts as the vaccine still must complete final trials.

Investors are now hoping Republicans and Democrats will resolve their differences and agree on another relief program to support about 30 million unemployed Americans, as the battle with the virus outbreak was far from over with US cases surpassing 5 million last week.

Also in focus are Sino-US tensions ahead of high-stakes trade talks in the coming weekend.

“Certainly the rhetoric from Washington has been negative with regards to China ... there’s plenty of things to worry about, but markets are really focused more on the very easy fiscal and monetary policies at this point,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.

Financials, energy and industrial sectors, that have lagged the benchmark index this year, provided the biggest boost to the S&P 500 on Tuesday.

The S&P 500 was set to rise for the eighth straight session, its longest streak of gains since April 2019.

The S&P 500 was up 15.39 points, or 0.46 percent, at 3,375.86, about 18 points shy of its high of 3,393.52. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 341.41 points, or 1.23 percent, at 28,132.85, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 48.37 points, or 0.44 percent, at 10,919.99.

Royal Caribbean Group jumped 4.6 percent after it hinted at new safety measures aimed at getting sailing going again after months of cancellations. Peers Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. and Carnival Corp. also rose.

US mall owner Simon Property Group Inc. gained 4.1 percent despite posting a disappointing second quarter profit, as its CEO expressed some hope over a recovery in retail as lockdown measures in some regions eased.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 3.44-to-1 on the NYSE and 1.44-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 35 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 50 new highs and four new lows.