24/02/2017 10:52 AST

Germany's BASF , the world's largest chemicals group by sales, forecast a rebound in earnings this year after higher petrochemical prices bolstered fourth-quarter profit.

Quarterly earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) and adjusted for one-off items rose a better-than-expected 15 percent to 1.18 billion euros ($1.25 billion).

Strong demand for basic precursor chemicals that go into more advanced products such as engineering foams allowed it to mark up prices.

That was slightly above the 1.12 billion euros expected by analysts polled by Reuters.

"Particularly in Asia, we continually increased our sales volumes in the chemicals business," Chief Executive Kurt Bock said in a statement, adding that previous expenditure on plants, equipment and product development in the region were paying off.

The earnings gain, however, was tempered by money set aside for remuneration to senior managers, who are in for a higher bonus after BASF's shares rallied about 14 percent in the fourth quarter.

On an annual basis, BASF reported a 6 percent fall in adjusted EBIT.

The company, whose products include catalytic converters, insulation foams, vitamins and plastics, said it was targeting a gain of up to 10 percent in 2017.

Higher crude prices are expected to bolster its oil and gas division.

Oil prices are up more than 50 percent from year-ago levels. BASF's Wintershall oil and gas unit accounted for about 14 percent of operating profit last year.


Ticker Price Volume
QNBK 122.40 34,875
BURUJ 32.21 213,072
SABIC 98.22 2,108,214
CHUBB 28.70 160,783
TAWUNIYA 93.63 287,882
ALOLA 46.30 128,800
PETRORABIGH 13.89 1,558,328
Index Closing Change
NIKKEI 225 21,457.64 9.12 (0.04%)
DAX 12,991.28 1.18 (0.00%)
S&P 500 2,575.21 13.11 (0.51%)
China economy on track to hit official 2017 growth target


China’s economy is on track to meet the official growth target for 2017, the head of the state planning agency said on Saturday.

“We expect to achieve the full-year growth target of about 6

Oman Daily Observer

Global IT spending to reach $3.7trn


Range from technologies that enhance the digital workplace, such as workstream collaboration, workforce analytics and video message-oriented middleware (MOM), to security (endpoint detection and res

Saudi Gazette

Hong Kong stocks advance after biggest tumble this year


Hong Kong stocks rose, led by a rebound in shares that had driven a slump on Thursday.

The Hang Seng Index advanced 1% as of 08:26 as Industrial & Commercial Bank of China and Ping An Insu


Brazil stocks higher at close of trade; Bovespa up 0.14%


Brazil stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Basic Materials, Financials and Public Utilities sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Sao Paulo, the Bovespa rose 0


Most Asian bourses extend gains


Asian and European markets rose yesterday, with Japan’s Nikkei clocking up a record-equalling 14 straight wins, while the dollar also rallied on hopes for Donald Trump’s tax cut plans.

A suc