The Saudi stock market closed the week of Thursday October 25 up slightly despite a 37 percent drop in profits by market leader Saudi Basic Industries Co. (SABIC), Bakheet Financial Advisors (BFA) said.
The NCFEI all-shares index closed at 2,384.83 points from last week's 2,381.14 points, an increase of 0.2 percent, BFA reported. The index is now 5.6 percent higher than at the start of the year.
"Although the market was boosted by a good performance of the banking sector, it did also witness a negative reaction" to the publication of SABIC's third-quarter results, 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 also dropped 52 percent over the second quarter. Net profits in the third quarter of many listed firms also dropped compared to the second quarter, BFA said.
Stock prices of 38 companies rose, 14 fell, seven remained unchanged and 17 issues did not trade. Trading value in the week dropped 28.7 percent to 998.7 million riyals ($266.3 million) from 1.4 billion riyals ($373.3 million).
Blue chip gainers were led by the Arab National Bank and Saudi Hollandi Bank, which increased 6.8 and 2.9 percent, respectively. The big losers were SABIC and the Saudi British Bank which lost 4.2 and 1.3 percent respectively. 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 )