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Sabic Declines Most in Seven Months as Profit Misses Estimates

Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Basic Industries Corp. dropped the most in seven months after the petrochemicals maker posted quarterly profit that missed analysts’ estimates.

The shares slumped 3.4 percent, the most since June 15, to 114 riyals, trimming their gain this year to 2.2 percent. Sabic, as the company is known, has the biggest market value on the benchmark Tadawul All Share Index, which fell 0.9 percent.

Fourth-quarter profit rose 5.7 percent to 6.16 billion riyals ($1.64 billion), the Riyadh-based company said. The mean estimate of 9 analysts was for a profit of 6.66 billion riyals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Sabic is among companies affected by sluggish demand for petrochemicals in Europe as the region’s economy struggle to recover following the global credit crisis. Sales at the state-controlled Sabic, which is cutting jobs and closing some plants in Europe, remained unchanged at 189 billion riyals last year.

“We expect 2014 results to improve as there are forecasts of solid improvements in prices,” Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Al-Mady told reporters in Riyadh today.

Sabic plans to invest in North America and China as they present the most attractive opportunities, he said. “We have a desire to invest in North America, as we like to participate in markets that present a challenge to us,” Al-Mady said. “We certainly want to invest in China as well since it has the biggest market globally.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Deema Almashabi in Riyadh at dalmashabi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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