Saudi Basic Industries Corporation

The price of crude may have plummeted in the months since its July 2008 peak, but Saudi Basic Industries Corporation remains comfortably the biggest publicly traded company in the region.

Formed over three decades ago to turn the waste gases that were once burned off at the wellhead into valuable petrochemicals, the company better known as SABIC has extended its global reach with operations across Europe, North America and Asia. Last month, Mohamed Al Mady, CEO of SABIC, said that the first quarter “looks good”. In an interview with CNBC, he added that he sees “light at the end of the tunnel” for the global economy and is “very hopeful” of seeing growth by the end of the year.

The firm had already said that it is seeking to buy new assets and form joint ventures to boost its market share. In its annual report, published in March, SABIC said that the company “is working to increase its market share in international markets and looking for opportunities to buy assets within these markets and to set up joint ventures. It will take advantage of the big decline in international production among high-cost producers”.