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Saudi stocks achieve yearly gains in two weeks

Published: Updated:

The Tadawul stock market ended Tuesday’s trading with a good gain of 76.70 points to close at 8347.25 points up 0.93%, with trades worth more than 3.1 billion riyals.

By today’s closing, the Saudi market has achieved gains in just two weeks, equivalent to the one achieved in a year.

More than 117 million shares were traded, with shares in 98 companies showing gains while shares in 76 companies closed lower.

Saudi Cable company, Buruj Insurance, Savola, Saudi Cement and Saco were the top gainers. The shares of Care, AlHokair, Wafra and Saico were the most heavily traded, with gains and losses ranging from 5.95% to 5.26%.

Saudi Kayan, Dar Al Arkan, Alinma, Bank AlJazira and Care were the most active.

Keen anticipation

Majid Kabbara, Managing Director of Asset Management at Delma Capital, attributed the strong gains recorded by the Saudi stock market index during the first two weeks of this year to the anticipation of the Saudi index to rise on emerging market indices.

In an interview with Al-Arabiya, Kabbara pointed out that Saudi Arabia’s stock market was worth 1.2 billion riyals the last week, which came from Gulf and foreign investors.

He said the Saudi stock index gained 6.5% during the first two weeks of 2019, which is close to the index's gains of 8% for the whole of 2018.

Kabbara explained the timing and dates for the upgrade of the Saudi stock market index on the emerging markets index will begin from March 2019 in five stages ending in the first quarter of 2020 for the FTSE Russell index.

As for the MSCI index, the review dates for the promotion will be in May and August this year.

Mega-bank deal in offing

Kabbara pointed to the importance of mega-bank deals in boosting the rise of the Saudi stock market index, pointing out that the merger of National Commercial Bank (NCB) and Riyadh Bank is expected and can easily be accomplished because both banks are government owned and will create a new entity.

NCB, the kingdom’s biggest lender by assets, and Riyad Bank said in December they had begun preliminary talks to potentially create a combination with $183 billion assets. Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and the government are major shareholders in both banks.