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Mitsubishi boosts stake in Saudi-linked petrochemical firm | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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TOKYO, (KUNA) — Mitsubishi Corp. has increased its stake in SPDC Ltd., a consortium of Japanese firms and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, which is involved in a petrochemical joint venture with Saudi Arabia, a major financial daily here reported on Wednesday.

SPDC — which works with Saudi Basic Industries Corp. to operate a joint venture with Eastern Petrochemical Co. (SHARQ) — was riginally created to strengthen ties with Saudi Arabia. About 60 Japanese companies including Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., automakers, steelmakers, electric power companies and oil firms have held stakes in SPDC.

But since last year, about 10-20 companies such as Cosmo Oil Co., Japan Energy Corp., Tosoh Corp. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. have sold their shares in the company. Mitsubishi is believed to have scooped up these shares for an undisclosed amount by boosting its stake from 7 percent to 21 percent, according to the Nikkei Shimbun.

As a result, SPDC will become an equity affiliate of Mitsubishi and be reflected in its group earnings. The trading company is now the second largest stakeholder in SPDC next to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

Mitsubishi is positioning the resources-based chemical products field as a focal point in its medium-term business plan lasting through fiscal 2007.

Mitsubishi, which has played a central role since the launch of SHARQ, is now expected to exert even more leadership with its stake increase in SPDC.