Saudi Petrochemicals Sector: Advantage Saudi Arabia Petrochemicals Sector_ Saudi Petrochemicals

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  • Saudi Petrochemicals Sector Petrochemicals –Industrial Saudi Arabia 4 August 2010

    January 18, 2010

    US$85.6 bn 27.7% US$325.1mn Market cap Free float Avg. daily volume

    Disclosures Please refer to the important disclosures at the back of this report.

    Powered by Enhanced Datasystems’ EFA Platform

    Target mkt cap SAR379bn 18.0%over current Consensus mkt cap. SAR411bn 27.9% over current Current mkt cap. SAR321bn as at 04/08/2010

    Underweight Neutral Overweight

    Key themes

    We expect Saudi petrochemicals suppliers to outperform global rivals with margins driven by cheap feedstock costs and strong demand coming from Asia. We believe a shift towards heavier, more expensive feedstock in plants from now on will not constrain profits growth as improving prices and higher volumes should offset the higher costs.


    We like SABIC’s broad business mix, its low-cost production and its strategy of high investment. SABIC also represents 22% of the TASI index, making it risky to bet against the stock. Sipchem should see a strong recovery as new investment diversifies revenue streams and moves it further up the petrochemicals value chain. Conversely, Saudi Kayan has suffered severe delays in plant construction and we do not expect it to record sales or profits for nearly two years. We do not have ratings on Yansab or Petro Rabigh.

    What do we think?

    Stock Rating Price Target

    SABIC Overweight SAR102.7

    Sipchem Overweight SAR29.7

    Saudi Kayan Underweight SAR14.4

    Yansab No rating

    Petro Rabigh No rating

    Why do we think it?

    Stock 3 year EBITDA CAGR* 2010 EV/EBITDA

    SABIC 10.3% 7.6x

    Sipchem 18.0% 10.9x

    Saudi Kayan NA NA

    Yansab 12.5% 13.4x

    Petro Rabigh 11.3% 15.9x

    * 2010-2013, ie after strong cyclical recovery in 2009-10

    Where are we versus consensus?

    Source Bloomberg, Al Rajhi Capital

    Research Department ARC Research Team

    Tel +966 1 211 9233,

    Saudi Petrochemicals Sector:

    Advantage Saudi Arabia The combination of the world’s lowest feedstock costs and large-scale capacity expansion is transforming the Saudi petrochemicals sector into a formidable force. These strengths provide powerful support for the industry as it strives to meet surging demand in China and Asia. SABIC is attractive as the giant of the sector. Sipchem is a higher-growth alternative with strong recovery potential. Conversely, Saudi Kayan has lost opportunities after major project delays.

    Low input costs the key advantage: The world’s lowest costs for feedstocks

    such as ethane and naphtha have placed Saudi petrochemicals suppliers in an

    enviable position and are helping them capture global market share. With no

    new allocations of ethane since 2006, Saudi petrochemicals players are currently

    shifting to heavier and more expensive feedstocks. This will result in slightly

    higher input costs but should not greatly harm the competitiveness of the sector.

    Asia represents a huge opportunity: China is the primary force driving global

    petrochemicals demand. While the country is adding significant domestic

    capacity, we expect demand growth to outpace capacity additions for many years

    yet. China and other Asian countries are already the key market for the Saudi

    petrochemicals industry, and we expect the focus on this region to increase.

    Saudi Arabia investing for the future: Due to major new projects like the

    SABIC’s plants at Yanbu and Jubail, Saudi Arabia should account for over 10%

    of global petrochemicals capacity by 2014. Over-capacity is not a great risk since

    demand is strong and developed markets are not seeing capacity growth.

    Key driver in the Saudi market The petrochemicals sector accounts for 5% of

    Saudi GDP but 34% of the value of the stock market. SABIC alone represents

    22% of the TASI. The large petrochemicals stocks have dominated recent market

    trading. This makes it hard to bet against the sector, and SABIC in particular.

    Conclusions: We like SABIC’s wide business mix, its low-cost production and

    its strategy of high investment, while Sipchem’s focus on methanol products and

    gearing to Asia give it strong recovery potential. We rate both stocks Overweight.

    Saudi Kayan looks overvalued after project delays; our rating is Underweight.

    Both Yansab and Petro Rabigh (Not Rated) have high debt levels, although Petro

    Rabigh should benefit from strong parents and its shift to integrated production.

  • Saudi Petrochemicals Sector Petrochemicals –Industrial

    Disclosures Please refer to the important disclosures at the back of this report. 2

    Figure 1. Share of Middle Eastern capacity in global petrochemicals production








    1 9 9 5

    1 9 9 6

    1 9 9 7

    1 9 9 8

    1 9 9 9

    2 0 0 0

    2 0 0 1

    2 0 0 2

    2 0 0 3

    2 0 0 4

    2 0 0 5

    2 0 0 6

    2 0 0 7

    2 0 0 8

    2 0 0 9

    2 0 1 0

    Ethylene Polyolef in

    Source: Industry data, Al Rajhi Capital

    Figure 2. Saudi Arabia ethylene capacity









    2007 2008 2009 2010E 2011E 2012E

    Capacity (Ktpa)

    Source: Industry data, Al Rajhi Capital

    Figure 3.1 Saudi Arabia: feedstock composition (2007) Figure 3.2 Saudi Arabia: feedstock composition (2014e)

















    Source: Industry data, Al Rajhi Capital Source: Industry data, Al Rajhi Capital

    Middle East has seen rapid petrochemicals capacity growth since 2007

    Saudi Arabia is leading capacity additions

  • Saudi Petrochemicals Sector Petrochemicals –Industrial

    Disclosures Please refer to the important disclosures at the back of this report. 3

    Page 7 Saudi petrochemicals: we are positive 7 Initiating coverage

    We initiate coverage of the Saudi Arabian petrochemicals sector and include five companies in our report: SABIC, Saudi Kayan, Yansab, Petro Rabigh and Sipchem. We are positive on the sector as feedstock costs for these companies are the lowest in the world while global demand is picking up led by Asia, and particularly China and India.

    7 World-beating feedstock costs catalysts for rapid growth

    We think these lower feedstock costs give Saudi players room to outmanoeuvre high-cost players as ethane has traded at a global average of US$4/mmbtu for the past few years while naphtha prices have fluctuated in tandem with oil price movements. These cost structures have forced international competitors to cede market share to Saudi petrochemical players.

    11 KSA government keen on developing petrochemicals

    11 Government wants to boost employment in the Kingdom through petrochemicals industry Petrochemicals makes the second biggest contribution to Saudi GDP, but its contribution towards employment pales in comparison to its size. Most plants use ethane as their primary feedstock, which needs a capital-intensive process. A shift towards crackers using heavier feedstocks will boost employment through a labour-intensive process.

    11 Petrochemicals to help government widen the base of Saudi GDP

    Saudi Arabia has vast proven reserves of crude oil but the government recognises the need to diversify the economy away from this finite resource. A focus on petrochemicals represents a logical move towards higher-margin and value added products.

    12 Speciality chemicals diversification is positive for both government and industry

    Within the petrochemicals industry, we see speciality chemicals as a future area of growth. This segment has been growing at a compound annual rate of nearly 7% over the past five years and represents a step further along the petrochemicals value chain.

    13 Emerging markets represent a huge opportunity

    13 China & India lead the emerging markets pack

    China is the current driver of global petrochemicals demand growth while India and Brazil represent the next big markets which will generate demand over the longer term. In the near term, we expect capacity additions to lag demand growth in all three markets and so believe that a ready market will soak up expansion by the Saudi petrochemical majors.

    14 Chinese state-owned players are boosting petrochemicals capacity… Chinese state-owned players like Sinopec and PetroChina are rapidly building new ethylene capacity, aided by favourable government policies for joint ventures with foreign majors. China is also on a propylene capacity build-up which will see the country become the largest producer of the chemical in the world.

    17 ...but Chinese capacity could face potential delays… Environmental worries, the economically unviable size of scattered petrochemicals plants and the potential threat of overcapacity could delay the commercial start of production.

    17 …and