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MENAFN - Arab News - 03/09/2007

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(MENAFN - Arab News) JEDDAH, 3 September 2007 — The Saudi stock market showed solid performance in the month of August.

At the end of August the Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) closed at 8,226.97 points. The index gained 692.92 points at a growth rate of 9.20 percent over the previous month's close. On an YTD basis TASI registered a positive return of 3.70 percent. According to the Monthly Statistical Report of Tadawul for August, which was released yesterday, total equity market capitalization increased 9.04 percent from July to SR1.40 trillion (372.75 billion).

The total value of shares traded in August reached SR196.69 billion (52.45 billion), increasing by 15.19 percent over the previous month. The total number of shares traded rose 0.26 percent to 3.96 billion in August as compared to 3.95 billion shares in July.

The report said the total number of transactions executed during August, however, dropped 2.60 percent to 4.95 million as compared to 5.08 million trades in July.

There were listings in the insurance sector last month. AlAhli Takaful Co. was listed with a paid-up capital of SR100 million divided into 10 million shares. The company offered 2.645 million shares at SR10 per share. Its shares gained 2,360 percent last month.

Another company, the Saudi Indian Company for Cooperative Insurance, was listed with a paid-up capital of SR100 million divided into 10 million shares. The company offered 4 million shares at a nominal value of SR10 per share. Its shares edged higher by 1,502.50 percent last month.

The third Allied Cooperative Insurance Group (ACIG) was listed with a paid-up capital of SR100 million divided into 10 million shares. The company offered 4 million shares at a nominal value of SR10 per share. Its shares jumped 1,225 percent last month.

The Tadawul report also said Saudi Printing & Packaging Co. was included in Tadawul All-Share Index as the stock close price on Aug. 6.

The insurance sector was hit badly yesterday. The TASI continued to decline after falling 153.65 points on Saturday. The index closed below 8,000 points at 7,987.69, down 85.63 points from Saturday's closing.

The Insurance Index plunged 5.24 percent to 2,410.22 yesterday. The only gainer in the sector yesterday was Malath Cooperative Insurance and Reinsurance Company. Its shares edged higher by 2.46 percent to SR145.50 while shares of all other companies declined sharply.

Shares of the Mediterranean & Gulf Insurance & Reinsurance Co. fell 10 percent, Arabian Shield Cooperative Insurance Co. by 9.90 percent, Saudi IAIC Cooperative Insurance Co. (Salama) and SABB Takaful by 9.98 percent each and Allied Cooperative Insurance Group by 9.95 percent.

Abdulwahab Abu-Dahesh, an economic expert, said the fall in the trading sessions of stocks was because of "reaping fast profits in some sectors." He believed that a corrective wave would come in the current month with the announcement of quarterly results by the listed companies. He said that the present falling trend would continue over three more days while the rising trend over the past two months required a correction. However, he believed that the market will remain sturdy with only a few points lost in the coming few days. He also said psychological factors played a large role in the last days' fall after the remarkable rise in the price of insurance sector which quickened the pace of efforts to reap quick profits.

In the banking sector, shares in Saudi Hollandi Bank fell by 7.03 percent to SR59.50, Al-Rajhi Bank by 1.71 percent to SR86.25 and Samba Financial Group by 1.38 percent to SR124.75.

The cement and agriculture sectors were also in the red yesterday.

Shares in United International Transportation Company Ltd., which started trading on Saturday, dropped 9.97 percent to SR151.25 yesterday after soaring 223.08 percent on debut.

Out of 102 companies, shares of 22 companies gained while shares of 74 companies declined. Over SR9.23 billion worth of shares changed hands yesterday.


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