Shares, oil take beating

Commentary

Saudi shares dropped the most in 18 months, and oil is down from over $85 a barrel a month ago to now at ~$67 (by the way, you can always find the most updated price of oil blow our video section, courtesy of oil-price.net).

Bloomberg reports that SABIC sank 10 percent.

Not a good week, but some positive business stories have emerged:

Flour has inked a 3 billion dollar deal with Alcoa and Ma’aden for an aluminum plant.

-The IMF has given a better outlook for the MENA region, reported here in the National. (But note the article says the IMF is citing “stronger oil prices.” Looks like they spent some time editing this one!)

Petrochemical demand in Europe is forecasted to grow 2 percent this year, good news for Saudi Arabia given their investments in this sector of late.

So, a mixed week (at best) so far in Saudi business news, and eyes in the Gulf will be looking westward at the progress made capping the Deepwater Horizon spill.

Knock on wood.