Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index hit a record high for the first time in nearly four years, since July 2015, above 9,000 points.
As of 1:05 pm KSA time on Thursday, the index reached 9055 points, up 0.77%, supported by a number of sectoral indices.
Al Rajhi Bank jumped 2.92%, buoyed by positive news about the bank’s capital increase.
According to Reuters, Saudi index was the second-best performer in the region in March, just behind Kuwait’s premier market index, with Tadawul gaining 3.85 percent.
The banking sector was the main boost for the market, with Al Rajhi, National Commercial Bank, and Samba gaining 7.97 percent, 5.57 percent and 6.72 percent respectively.
“The first inclusion of FTSE happened mid-March and was the key trigger for index gains despite modest-to-weak 4Q earnings as foreigners continue to be net buyers targeting blue chips stocks,” Nishit Lakhotia, head of research as Bahrain-based bank SICO, told Zawya by email.
The first tranche out of five from the Saudi market inclusion in the FTSE Emerging All Cap Index took place on March 18. Tadawul will also join the closely-followed MSCI emerging market index in May 2019.
“Turnover in the index recovered 25 percent month-on-month, but still remains below $800 million. With (a) more significant inclusion event in the coming months, turnover should likely improve,” Lakhotia added.
“While April will be 1Q (first quarter) results time, the index will continue to be affected more by the speculation regarding flows in (the) near term than earnings,” he said, adding that he expected the current momentum to be sustained at least until early May.