The Tadawul All Share Index advanced 0.4 per cent to 4808.90 in Riyadh. It has gained 0.1 per cent this year after losing more than half its value in 2008 as oil prices dropped. Saudi Basic, or Sabic, climbed 3.5 per cent to SAR47.8. A fund manager from Samba Capital Asset Management said Sabic's forecast for the year is bleak on lower petrochemical prices and the fair value for the company is around SAR40.
Yanbu Cement, a Saudi cement maker, rose 10 per cent to SAR45.1. Saudi Cement Co., the second-largest seller of building materials in the Kingdom by market value, rose 4.9 per cent to 51 riyals, making its first gain since January 24.
Many Saudi cement companies saw their fourth quarter profits fall after the country banned cement exports last year. But news that the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Industry may lift the ban on exports is boosting shares, said the fund manager.
Almarai, the largest food producer in Saudi by market value, advanced 0.4 per cent to SAR139 after it said it bought 75 per cent of Jordan's Taiba Investment & Advanced Food Co. for SAR290 million.
Of the index's 70 stocks, 40 fell and 17 were unchanged.
"The market will keep fluctuating within a narrow range until release of the audited financial statement, on which investors will determine the outlook of the blue-chips, particularly for banks," Bakheet Investment Group said in its weekly stock market report on January 28.
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