(MENAFN - Arab News) JEDDAH, 28 August 2007 — Following other insurance companies, which started trading with a bang on the Saudi stock market recently, shares in Allied Cooperative Insurance Group (ACIG) jumped 997.50 percent on the first day yesterday. The SR10 shares opened at SR109.75 and stayed in that level throughout the trading yesterday. This is the 12th company to be traded in the insurance sector of Tadawul which now has 101 companies.
Shares in most of the insurance companies soared on debut recently. Shares in Saudi Indian Company for Cooperative Insurance also increased 997.50 percent on the first day of trading on Saturday. Saudi Indian shares jumped 9.96 percent to SR132.50 yesterday. The other major gainer in the insurance sector was Alahli Takaful Company as its shares soared 9.94 percent to SR213. Malath Cooperative Insurance and Reinsurance Company shares gained 9.90 percent to SR136.
Shares in The Mediterranean & Gulf Insurance & Reinsurance Co. (MedGulf), Saudi United Cooperative Insurance Co. (Walaa Insurance), SABB Takaful and Sanad Insurance & Reinsurance Cooperative Company declined yesterday.
Insurance is one of a number of industry sectors liberalized by Saudi Arabia, making the Kingdom more attractive to foreign investors. A number of leading international insurance operators have linked with Saudi Arabian partners as a result.
Despite hefty gains made by insurance companies, the Saudi stock market edged lower yesterday. The Tadawul All-Share Index dropped by 16.66 points to 8,115.83. However, the index has gained 2.30 percent so far this year.
Out of 101 companies traded yesterday, 42 were in positive territory while shares in 41 companies declined.
The value of traded shares crossed the SR12 billion mark yesterday.
The telecom sector was in the red yesterday as shares in Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) and Etihad Etisalat declined 0.69 percent and 0.35 percent, respectively.
Shares of the United International Transportation Company (UniTrans-Budget) will be traded Saturday on the Saudi bourse, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) announced yesterday.
Meanwhile, Tadawul yesterday announced that its working hours during Ramadan would be from 11 am to 3 pm. The market will be closed for Eid Al-Fitr holiday at the end of business on Oct. 10 (Wednesday) and will reopen on Oct. 20 (Saturday).