Saudi stock market soars to best year since 2009
The overall Saudi market stayed quiet Tuesday, with the stock benchmark Tadawul All Share Index gaining 0.32 percent to close at 8,412.32 points, a five-year high. The market is up 23.7 percent year-to-date, heading for its best year since 2009.
Shares in Saudi Hollandi Bank climbed 4.5 percent to their highest close since Oct. 30 after the lender said it planned to boost its capital by 20 percent next year through a bonus share issue.
After rising almost 10 percent in each of the past two days, PetroRabigh showed signs of losing steam, gaining only 5.3 percent. It has been climbing since it said its parent companies agreed to cut international marketing fees for PetroRabigh’s products by a third over a five-year period.
Mohammad Omran, president of Riyadh-based private firm Gulf Centre for Financial Consultancy, said the market could target the 8,500-point level by year-end.
“Petrochemicals, telecoms and banking will be the leading sectors in the coming year, but growth in banks will be modest.”
In Abu Dhabi, banking shares that lagged the recent leg up by Dubai’s bourse played catch-up. The Abu Dhabi index climbed 1.3 percent to its highest level since September 2008; Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank rose 5.6 percent.
“There are a lot of investors looking for bulk buying in the banking sector as a whole on speculation about earnings and dividends,” said Hisham Khairy, head of trading for the institutional desk at MENA Corp. Companies will announce annual dividends and earnings after mid-January.
Waha Capital surged 14.9 percent to its highest level since September 2008 after the company said it would vote in favour of AerCap Holdings’ $5.4 billion acquisition of American International Group’s aircraft leasing unit.
The company is AerCap’s largest shareholder with a 26.3 percent stake, though if the deal is completed, Waha’s stake will be reduced to about 14 percent, it said.
Oman’s market gained 0.5 percent, outperforming most of the Gulf. On Monday, BP announced it would drill some 300 wells for gas under the Omani desert over the next 15 years in a $16 billion project that may give a significant boost to the economy, which is about $80 billion in size. Dubai index climbed 0.3 percent to 3,144 points.
Qatar index eased 0.06 percent to 10,469 points. Kuwait index retreated 0.6 percent to 7,609 points. Oman index gained 0.5 percent to 6,795 points. Bahrain index edged up 0.07 percent to 1,207 points.