Saudi petchems giant Sabic is pushing to expand even as Aramco prepares to buy the bulk of its equity. Sabic management credits its “transformation initiative” for improved profits but in reality higher oil prices are the key factor.

Saudi state-led petchems giant Sabic boosted its net profits by 16.8% to SR21.54bn ($5.74bn) for 2018 thanks to a 6% rise in production and sales volumes coupled with increased selling prices “in line with the higher oil price...