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Thu 27 Jan 2011 05:58 PM

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Sabic to boost R&D spending, supplementing takeovers

Saudi Basic Industries Corp plans to raise spending on innovation to about $800m annually

Sabic to boost R&D spending, supplementing takeovers
SAUDI SABIC: Sabic, which last year bought General Electric Co’s plastics unit for $11.6bn

Saudi Basic Industries Corp  plans to increase its spending
on innovation and developing new products in-house to about $800m annually,
supplementing any diversification through acquisitions.

Over the next few years, spending on research and
development will grow to more than 2 percent of sales from 1 percent currently,
said Abdularahman al Ubaid, executive vice president of technology and
innovation. The company reported sales of SR150bn ($40bn) last year.

Sabic, which last year bought General Electric Co’s
plastics unit for $11.6bn, remains open to acquisition opportunities, the
executive said.

The company is building large R&D centers in India,
China and Saudi Arabia. The move highlights Sabic’s aim to move beyond
petrochemicals into more value-added products, in a challenge to BASF SE and
Dow Chemical Co.

“It is not smart to invent everything in-house,” Al Ubaid
said in an interview in Dubai on Wednesday. “Go and get the best knowledge and
information around and use it. If there is an opportunity, we will study it,”

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