Saudi bourse falls 1.8 percent on back of SABIC slowdown
The Saudi stock market fell 1.8 percent on the week ending Thursday, February 8, its third successive decline, amid a profits plunge at petrochemical giant SABIC, Bakheet Financial Advisors (BFA) reported. The NCFEI all-shares index closed on 2,229.33 points, compared to 2,271.21 on February 1. The index is now 1.3 percent down on the year.
The Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), which accounts for 21 percent of the NCFEI, lost 3.7 percent after announcing a 33 percent plunge in fourth quarter profits compared to the previous quarter. Despite the slowdown, the corporation posted a record $6.5 billion in revenue and a $968 million net profit for 2000, up 113 percent from 1999, Industry Minister Hashem bin Abdullah Yamani said Monday.
The decline in the NCFEI came despite a rise in oil prices after the February 1 implementation of an output cut by OPEC, of which Saudi Arabia is the leading member with the world's highest oil reserves and production. Stock prices of 32 companies went down, 20 were up, eight unchanged and 15 did not trade, BFA said. Trading volumes rose to 1.1 billion riyals ($290 million), up from 970.3 million riyals ($259 million) the previous week.
The NCFEI is the most capitalised in the Arab world at more than $60 billion, but operates only on an interbank market system. —(AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)