ICEC

SABIC Expected To Report A Profit Decrease

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the world’s largest chemicals producers, will be in focus today as it is expected to post quarterly earnings but a gloomy global backdrop may weigh on Gulf investor sentiment.

Six analysts polled by Reuters expect SABIC to report a net profit decrease of 12.8 percent to SAR6.7bn (US$1.8bn).

Its shares slipped 1.3 percent on Monday amid the sector’s decline following below-estimated earnings among some other petrochemical companies. The main benchmark fell to a seven-week low as profit-taking trimmed year-to-date gains to 13.4 percent. SABIC’s shares are significantly underperforming the market with 2012 gains at 1.8 percent.

Also in the kingdom, Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) on Monday reported a 21 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, just short of analysts’ estimates.

Elsewhere, Asian shares were capped while the euro fell, as soaring Spanish borrowing costs underscored the fading impact of the European Central Bank’s bond purchases and stoked investor nervousness over euro zone debt woes.

“Our markets will be correlated globally to some extent, especially if there are really bad numbers from US,” says Ali Adou, portfolio manager at UAE’s The National Investor.

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