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Tue 19 Jan 2010 11:31 PM

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SABIC Q4 earnings make unexpected surge upwards

Surge in earning helps SABIC defy analysts forecasts, BASF and Dow chemicals await cues.

Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), one of the world's leading chemical firms, posted a better than expected surge in fourth quarter net profit on higher prices and sales volumes for most of its products.

SABIC made $1.22 billion in the three months to end December compared to $82.9 million it made a year earlier, the firm said in a statement posted on the bourse's website.

The fourth earnings came above the most optimistic of forecasts which ranged from $855.9 million to $1.17 million, according to a Reuters survey.

SABIC'S earnings serve as a yardstick for earnings of other petrochemical majors such as Germany's BASF and Dow Chemical.

Earnings per share for all of 2009 however reached $0.80, below half their $1.95 level in 2008. (Reuters)

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