Petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries (Sabic) retains its position in the MEED 100 as the region’s largest listed company.

After its market capitalisation fell by almost two thirds in 2009 to $39.1bn from $111bn, the company’s capitalisation has rebounded to $70.8bn in this year’s ranking. This is despite the company posting its first quarterly loss since 2001 for the four months to April 2009.

Rank 2010 Rank 2009 Company Exchange Market Cap ($m) Share price ($)
1 1 Saudi Basic Industries Corporation Tadawul 70,799 23.60
16 20 Saudi Arabian Fertiliser Company  Tadawul 9,400 37.60
23 24 Rabigh Refining & Petrochemical Company (PetroRabigh)  Tadawul 7,709 8.80
25 27 Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Company Tadawul 7,240 4.83
33 50 Yanbu National Petrochemicals Company Tadawul 5,640 10.03
54 85 National Industrialization Company (Tasnee)  Tadawul 3,550 7.71
91 95 Abu Qir Fertilizers and Chemical Indust Egypt 2,071 40.92
94 96 Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem)  Tadawul 2,018 6.05
100 na National Petrochemical Company  Tadawul 1,920 4.00
Source: Thomson Reuters

The firm returned to profitability later in the year. However, net income for the full year in 2009, totalling SR9.1bn ($2.5bn), was some 59 per cent lower than for 2008.

Sabic’s roller-coaster ride was mirrored by other petrochemicals producers in the MEED 100. Dramatic falls in profitability in the first quarter were followed by a gradual return to growth in the rest of the year. Their market capitalisation and positions have risen as a result of improving sentiment.

Saudi Arabia continues to dominate the regional petrochemicals sector in the rankings, with eight out of the nine petrochemicals listed in the MEED 100 located in the kingdom.

Saudi Kayan Petrochemicals Company and Yanbu National Petrochemicals Company have yet to begin commercial production, but are scheduled to do so in 2010. This should see them climbing even higher in next year’s list.

Sabic’s roller-coaster ride was mirrored by other petrochemicals producers in the MEED 100 list this year

Following its initial public offering in August 2009, National Petrochemical Company (Petrochem) is a new entrant to the MEED 100. The company holds a 65 per cent stake in the local Saudi Polymers Company with the US’ Chevron Phillips holding the remaining 35 per cent. The joint venture partners hope to start production at their Jubail petrochemicals complex in 2011. Petrochem ranks at 100, with a market capitalisation of $1.9bn.

PetroRabigh, a $10bn joint venture of state energy giant Saudi Aramco and Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical, was officially inaugurated in Saudi Arabia in November 2009.

The company ranks at 23 in this year’s list with a market capitalisation of $7.7bn.