The Saudi bourse ended the week 0.9 percent higher at 2,570.51 points, reaching its all-time high since 1985. The NCFEI all-shares index has been consistently rising in the past several months, and is now 13.8 percent higher since the beginning of the year.
Gains were attributed to a rise in banking and cement stocks, the government’s implementation of economic reforms, in addition to high oil prices, according to AFP news agency.
Blue chip stocks lead the gains, with Arab National Bank and Saudi British Bank rising 5.4 and 4.1 percent, respectively. Saudi Basic Industries Co. (SABIC), the petrochemicals giant holding a 22-percent market share, fell 1.2 percent.
Total trading volume rose 5.5 percent to 1.9 million riyals ($509 million) from last week’s figure of 1.8 billion riyals. Overall, 40 stocks ended the week higher, 14 lower, and eight remained unchanged.
The Saudi stock exchange is the highest capitalized in the Arab world with more than $60 billion. It operates only on an interbank market system. — (Mena Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )