RIYADH, July 29 (Reuters) - Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the world's fourth-biggest petrochemicals company, reported an 81 percent leap in second-quarter net profit on Sunday, citing higher selling prices and a jump in sales volumes.
SABIC made a net profit of 6.70 billion riyals ($1.79 billion) in the three months to June 30, up from 3.71 billion riyals in the year-earlier period, it said in a bourse statement.
Analysts had on average expected SABIC to make a net profit of 5.8 billion riyals.
Quarterly sales climbed 26 percent from a year earlier to 43.28 billion riyals, and were up 3 percent from the previous quarter.
SABIC has been a focus of investor attention after Reuters reported earlier this month that Saudi national oil giant Aramco aimed to buy a stake in SABIC, possibly taking the entire 70 percent holding owned by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund. Aramco subsequently confirmed the report.
SABIC'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. (Reporting by Marwa Rashad; Writing by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Andrew Torchia)