1. Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC)MCAP $bn: 74.99 Sector: ChemicalsSABIC posted a third quarter net profit rise this year in line with analysts’ forecasts of 6.47 billion riyals, up from 6.31 billion riyals in the year earlier period. The company’s sales for Q3 were up nine per cent at 48.8 billion riyals.
The economic outlook for the Kingdom is positive on most fronts such as GDP growth, fiscal balance and current account balance. The Kingdom’s expansionary fiscal policy, with rising state and private investment, is expected to sustain growth in the coming years.
Saudi Arabia has been the third best performer among the group of 20 leading economies, after China and India, with an average economic growth of 6.25 per cent in the last four years.
Persistent strong growth of non-hydrocarbon sectors, such as manufacturing, construction and transportation, and their increasing contribution to the GDP is expected to continue, with the government inclined on structural reforms of the economy.
In terms of value traded, Saudi Arabia had an exceptional 2012, with a 76 per cent increase over 2011’s value of $291 billion. But value traded dropped 39 per cent in Q1 2013 to $201 billion, from $332 billion in Q1 2012.
With low public debt, abundant foreign exchange and continued public and private investment across the board, market liquidity is expected to rise over the rest of the year.
As of 31st July 2013. Source: Reuters Eikon, Markaz Research.
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The full list of the GCC’s largest 100 companies is available in the November issue of Gulf Business.