SABIC annual general meeting approves $1.76bn in dividends

Published: 30 April 2020 - 2 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery
SABIC’s ordinary annual general meeting in Riyadh on 21 April endorsed all the items on its agenda by vote and approved the board of directors’ and auditors’ reports, as well as the final accounts for the financial year ending 31 December 2019. The meeting was held virtually and through email interactions in compliance with health advisories related to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with real-time participation by shareholders.

Based on the board’s recommendation, the meeting approved $1.76bn cash dividends for the second half of 2019 at $0.59 per share, representing 22% of the nominal share value. The board of directors had previously approved $1.76bn cash dividends for the first half of 2019 at $0.59 per share, representing 22% of the nominal share value.

Eligibility for the second half dividends of the year will be for the shareholders owning shares on the due date – that is, the date of the ordinary general meeting – and those shareholders registered in the company’s share registry at the Depository Center at the end of the second trading day following the due date. The dividends will be distributed on 12 May 2020. The total proposed dividend for 2019 is $3.52bn at $1.57 per share, representing 44% of the nominal value per share.

The assembly approved $4,800,000 as remuneration to the board members at $53,333.33 per member for the fiscal year ending 31 December 2019, and approved the discharge of the board of directors members for the fiscal year ending 31 December 2019. It also approved the amendments to the charter of remuneration and nomination committee. It further reappointed Ernst & Young as the external auditor of the company to review and audit quarterly and the annual financial statements of the fiscal year 2020, in addition to the first quarter of the fiscal year 2021. The assembly also approved the auditor’s fees.

The assembly further authorised the board of directors to distribute interim dividends, semi-annually, or quarterly for the fiscal year 2020. It also authorised the board to determine the maturity and disbursement date as per the rules and regulations of the Companies Law, in line with the company’s financial position, cash flows and expansion and investment plans.

Speaking at the meeting, Dr Abdulaziz Aljarbou, SABIC chairman, extended his sincere gratitude to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for their timely actions to deal with the Covid-19 crisis. Besides taking preventive measures and prioritising the safety of citizens and residents, they have also announced several initiatives to assist the private sector affected by the economic consequences of the pandemic, he said.

Our annual performance demonstrates our long-standing ability to respond to market uncertainties. We continue to plan for the future, with the strength of our global scale and our customer-focused investments that help drive sustainability and innovation,” he added.

Concluding his speech, Dr Aljarbou expressed gratitude to the executive management in different regions of the world, as well as employees in Saudi Arabia and global facilities for their role in helping to overcome the pandemic. These efforts have contributed significantly toward helping various public and private agencies inside and outside Saudi Arabia to manufacture protective and sanitising materials, he said.

Yousef Al-Benyan, SABIC vice chairman and CEO, also thanked the wise leadership of Saudi Arabia for their decisive actions to face the crisis. He praised the preventive measures taken to protect Saudis and residents, while providing $48bn to help ease the economic fallouts, strengthen financial stability of the private sector, and continue the pace of sustainable development.

“The year 2019 was full of achievements as SABIC has proven once again its ability to foster success and maintain a global leading role in the petrochemical industry. We continued to improve performance and increase revenues for shareholders,” he said.

Despite the slowdown in the global economy, including the petrochemical industry, he said that SABIC’s strong focus on safe and reliable operations and cost controls helped mitigate some of these challenges. It maintained its third position among global diversified chemical companies in the 2019 Forbes annual ranking of the world’s biggest companies.

“We are also proud of the growing strength of our global brand value, which increased by 9.3% to $4.33bn this year, according to Brand Finance rating.”

Al-Benyan added that SABIC is actively contributing to the global fightback against the pandemic. It has taken comprehensive precautionary measures and introduced a plan for employees to work remotely. “We are proud to lead and support our stakeholders and communities we serve. By the end of March, our donations to help the global response to the crisis totaled more than $40mn.” SABIC has also stepped up production to meet the increasing demand for materials from the medical sector in Saudi Arabia and around the world.

Al-Benyan was optimistic that the pandemic would eventually pass, and the world would return to a sense of normality. “It would need collaboration, commitment and discipline to move toward a vibrant future and deliver ‘Chemistry that Matters’.”.

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