The Saudi shares index shot up two percent in the week closing Thursday, November 15 fired by gains by market leaders Saudi Basic Industries Corp. and Saudi American Bank, and a surge in the electricity sector.
Bakheet Financial Advisors (BFA) said the NCFEI all-shares index closed at 2,400.40 points, up from 2,354.13 points last week. The index is now 6.3 percent higher than at the start of the year.
"The Saudi stock market was boosted by gains of the two largest companies, SABIC and SAMBA, in addition to the electricity sector," which together represent 44 percent of market capitalization, BFA said.
The rise in SABIC and SAMBA shares has been affected by optimism that their profits would increase in the last quarter, it said. SABIC stocks have dipped over the past two weeks due to a fall in nine-month profits and world demand for petrochemicals.
"The electricity stocks surged this week due to expectation of the long-awaited stock merger and bonus payment after the nod by the supreme economic council to establish an electricity service regulator," added BFA.
Stock prices of 40 companies rose, 13 fell, six remained unchanged and 17 issues did not trade. All blue chips were up, led by SAMBA and the Saudi French Bank, which were up 3.1 percent and 2.8 percent respectively. Trading value was up 39 percent to 1.8 billion riyals ($480 million) from 1.1 billion riyals ($293.3 million) last week.
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 )