A drop of market leader Saudi Basic Industries Co. (SABIC) due to falling world demand for petrochemicals and weak oil prices pulled the Saudi stock market down for the second week running.
Bakheet Financial Advisors (BFA) said the NCFEI all-shares index closed the week of Thursday, November 8 at 2,354.13 points from 2,366.04 points last week, down 0.5 percent. The index is now 4.2 percent higher than at the start of the year.
"The market continued its downward trend this week within a limited volatility band affected by a decrease in the price of SABIC, the largest joint stock company in Saudi Arabia," BFA said.
The nine-month net profits of SABIC, which makes up 19 percent of the market capitalization, dropped 37 percent over the same period of 2000. Its third quarter profits, reported two weeks ago, also dropped 52 percent over the second quarter.
"SABIC's loss is attributed to the falling worldwide demand for petrochemicals, along with declining oil prices due to global economic recession," BFA said. Stock prices of 15 companies rose, 40 fell, eight remained unchanged and 13 issues did not trade.
The only blue chip gainers were the Saudi British Bank and the Saudi American Bank, up 4.2 percent and 0.2 percent respectively. The major losers were Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co. and the Saudi French Bank, both down two percent.
Trading value was down to 1.1 billion riyals ($293.3 million) from last week's 1.6 billion riyals ($426.7 million), a 31.3 percent drop. The NCFEI is the most capitalized market in the Arab world at more than $70 billion, but operates only as an interbank market system. — (AFP, Riyadh)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )