Saudi shares soar to new record on banks, cement and crude
The bulls ran again as the Saudi bourse climbed 1.3 percent to a record high in the week closing Thursday on the back of continued gains in the banking and cement sectors and high crude prices. Bakheet Financial Advisors (BFA) reported the NCFEI all-shares index hit 2,605.04 points, up from 2,570.51 last Thursday, August 30. It is now 15.4 percent higher than at the start of the year.
"The Saudi stock market continued its bullish trend for the sixth week in a row recording new highs ... driven by gains in most of the banks and cement sector," BFA said. Government economic reforms and high crude prices have helped keep the trend going, it said.
Blue chip gainers were led by Eastern Province Cement Co., up 12.1 percent, while Yanbu Cement rose 9.6 percent. Riyad Bank and Saudi Holland Bank were up 5.1 percent and 2.5 per cent, respectively.
Stock prices of 34 companies rose, 23 fell, eight were unchanged and 11 did not trade. Trading value climbed to 2.7 billion Saudi riyals ($720 million) from SR 1.9 billion ($509 million) last week. The NCFEI is the most capitalized in the Arab world at more than $60 billion, but operates only on an interbank market system. –(AFP, Riyadh)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)