The Saudi stock market rebounded strongly to close the week Thursday October 18 up 3.9 percent, mainly on encouraging nine-month profits for a majority of listed firms, Bakheet Financial Advisors (BFA) said.
"The Saudi stock market witnessed a positive recovery this week and compensated for part of its losses" following the September 11 terror attacks on the United States, BFA said. The NCFEI all-shares index closed at 2,381.14 points, up from 2,292.42 points the previous week, the BFA reported. The index is now 5.4 percent higher than at the start of the year.
The recovery was triggered by an increase of market leaders Saudi Basic Industries Co. (SABIC) and Al-Rajhi Banking and Investment Corp. (ARABIC), which rose 5.9 and 7.9 percent, respectively. The two firms make up 31 percent of the Saudi stock market.
Sentiment was buoyed by positive results from listed firms, especially banks, in the first nine months of 2001, BFA said. But they ignored a drop in third-quarter profits. Stock prices of 49 companies rose, 11 fell, three remained unchanged and 13 issues did not trade.
Trading value in the week rose sharply to 1.4 billion riyals ($373.3 million) from 505.3 million riyals ($134.7 million), BFA said. All blue chip stocks rose and were led by ARABIC and the Saudi British Bank, which increased 7.9 and 6.1 percent, respectively. The NCFEI is the most capitalized 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 )