JEDDAH, 18 September 2005 — The Saudi stock market continued to surge yesterday as the Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) was just over 10 points away to reach the 15,000 points threshold. The index closed 31.27 points higher at 14,989.37.
The Banking index gained 166.32 points to close at 32,595.41 as shares of most of the banks rose except the Saudi British Bank (SABB), Samba Financial Group and Bank Albilad which showed minor declines.
The Telecom, Insurance and Agricultural indices also edged higher while the Industrial, Cement, Services and Electricity indices dropped slightly.
Shares of Filing & Packing Materials Manufacturing Co. jumped by 10 percent yesterday to close at SR473, followed by Eastern Agriculture by 8.80 percent to SR222.50, Saudi Industrial Services Co. (SISCO) by 8.01 percent to SR246, National Gypsum Co. by 5.77 percent to SR1,270 and Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries and Medical Appliances Corp. by 5.65 percent to SR668.75.
However, shares of Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co., the National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia and Saudi Public Transport Co. declined by 1.54 percent at SR320.25, 1.24 percent at SR337.50 and 1.19 percent at SR249, respectively.
Petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp. shares also fell slightly yesterday to close at SR1,653.
However, Saudi stock experts have expected that the index would reach 15,500 points when third quarter results of companies appear showing good profits. "If the results are bad, then it would affect the prices of small companies as their prices are inflated," Asharq Al-Awsat Arabic daily quoted the experts as saying. They said most of the dealers would be looking at the performance of leading companies including SABIC and petrochemical firms.
Ahmed Al-Ghamdi, a financial analyst, said Saudi stocks are attracting all types of investors as they are profitable. He said the many new investors do not know in which shares they should invest in order to gain profits and avoid risk. As a result, the prices of even new companies listed on the bourse jumped four to five times within a few months.