Saudi bourse slips again on declining bank profits
The Saudi stock market shed another 1.1 percent in the week ending Thursday, February 1, as major banks reported declining profits, Bakheet Financial Advisors (BFA) reported. Fourth quarter profits disappointed investors on the NCFEI all-shares index, which closed at 2,271.21 points compared with 2,297.15 the previous week.
But overall bank profits for 2000 were far better than the previous year, the economic specialist noted. Riyad Bank proved one of the week's biggest blue chip losers, down 9.5 percent, while the Saudi French Bank lost 4.7 percent. Oil prices, which can play havoc with the market in Saudi Arabia, the world's top exporting and producing country, were reasonably stable and had little influence, Bakheet said.
Stock prices of 29 companies were up, 27 down, seven were unchanged and 12 did not trade. As the market sank back to the level of the start of the year, the volume of trading dropped to 7.2 million shares from more than 12 million shares last week and to a value of nearly $259 million compared to $499 million.
The NCFEI is the most capitalized 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)