Saudi Arabia has confirmed plans to float shares in its petrochemical and mining companies, that may be worth as much as SR22.5 billion [U.S.$6 billion]. Oil minister Ali Al-Naimi stated yesterday that the first step would be an offering to Saudi investors of SR10 billion [$2.67 billion], to be made following approval by the Capital Markets Authority. A number of new projects are being established, for the manufacture of petrochemicals such as polyethylene, propylene polypropylene, polystyrene, glycol ethylene, methanol, and butane.
Meanwhile, state-owned Saudi Aramco announced last month plans to offer stock in a new joint venture refinery in Yanbu. In addition, Saudi Aramco and Japan's Sumitomo Chemical Company Limited plan to invest in an upgrade of the Rabigh refinery as well as construction of a petrochemical plant. Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) has announced plans to expand a number of petrochemical projects, and to float for public subscription 35 percent of the shares of the National Petrochemicals Company ‘Yansab’.