Oct 28 (Reuters) - Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the world’s fourth-biggest petrochemicals company, reported a 5.4 percent rise in third-quarter net profit on Sunday, citing higher average selling prices and increase in sale volumes.
SABIC made a net profit of 6.1 billion riyals ($1.63 billion) in the three months to Sept. 30, up from 5.8 billion riyals in the year-earlier period, the company said in a bourse statement.
Analysts expected SABIC to make a net profit of around 5.8 billion riyals in the third quarter, according to the average of estimates of three analysts polled by Refinitiv.
The company’s results are closely tied to oil prices and global economic growth because its products - plastics, fertilisers and metals - are used extensively in construction, agriculture, industry and the manufacturing of consumer goods.
Saudi national oil giant Aramco is in talks with the Public Investment Fund to buy its controlling stake in SABIC.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said last week he expected the details of the SABIC deal to be finalised within the first half of 2019, Saudi state TV al-Ekhbariya quoted him as saying. ($1 = 3.7508 riyals)
Reporting by Saeed Azhar