Al Rajhi and Sabic drive up Saudi market

Saudi Arabian shares advanced on the week's first day of trading, led by Al Rajhi Bank and Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic), after US stocks and oil had their first weekly gains in a month.

Al Rajhi, the largest lender in Saudi Arabia by market value, rose as much as 0.7 per cent. Sabic, the world's largest chemicals maker, climbed as much as 0.9 per cent. Saudi Industrial Investment Group, a petrochemicals maker, gained as much as 5.1 per cent and Yanbu National Petrochemical added as much as 7.4 per cent.

The Tadawul All-Share Index rose 0.5 per cent and traded at 6,253.21 as of 1:11pm in Riyadh, bringing its gain this year to 1.8 per cent. The gauge added 27 per cent last year after slumping more than 50 per cent in 2008 as the price of oil, the country's biggest export earner, declined.

US stocks rose last week, completing the Dow Jones Industrial Average's first rally since the week ended January 8. Oil gained four per cent, its first weekly advance over the same period. Crude oil for March delivery fell $1.15, or 1.5 per cent, to $74.13 a barrel yesterday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Sabic added as much as SR0.75 to SR86 and traded at SR85.75 at 1.09pm in Riyadh. Al-Rajhi, Saudi Arabia's largest lender by market value, climbed as much as half a riyal to SR74.5. Saudi Industrial added as much as SR1.05 to SR21.6 and traded at SR21.1 as of 1.09pm. Yanbu National, a unit of Sabic, added as much as SR2.4 to SR35.

Among the major gainers were Kingdom Holding Company whose shares 58.17 per cent to reach SR12.10, Saudi Fisheries Company that rose by 3.37 per cent to SR53.75, Filling and Packing Materials Mnufacturing Company that appreciated by 3.60 per cent to reach SR34.50.

Jabal Omar Development Company slipped by 6.12 per cent to SR19.95, United cooperative Assurance Company lost 1.18 per cent to slip down to SR41.70, while Saudi Arabian Fertiliser Company lost 1.64 per cent to end the day at SR134.75.

 

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