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MENAFN - Arab News - 10/09/2007

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(MENAFN - Arab News) JEDDAH, 10 September 2007 — The Saudi stock market suffered 48.47 points fall yesterday after rebounding 123.44 points on Saturday. The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) closed yesterday at 7,928.63 points.

The stocks in the banking, agriculture and insurance sectors were worst hit. Shares of seven banks fell yesterday. Arab National Bank was down 1.85 percent, Bank Albilad 1.55 percent, SABB 1.47 percent and Al-Rajhi Bank 0.57 percent.

In the insurance sector all shares were in the red. Shares of Saudi Arabian Cooperative Insurance Company (SAIC) plunged by 9.89 percent to SR125.25, Allied Cooperative Insurance Group by 4.97 percent to SR119.50, Saudi United Cooperative Insurance Company (Walaa Insurance) by 4.81 percent 74.25, Saudi Fransi Cooperative Insurance Company by 4.79 percent to SR154 and SABB Takaful by 4.71 percent to SR166.75.

The top gainer yesterday was Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co. Amiantit bucked the downward trend as its shares surged 9.90 percent to SR27.75. Red Sea Housing shares gained by 7.72 percent to SR69.75, Filling & Packing Materials Manufacturing Co. by 3.43 percent to SR98, Saudi Real Estate Co. by 3.09 percent to SR41.75 and Saudi Paper Manufacturing Co. by 2.24 percent to SR68.50.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) shares fell 0.58 percent to SR128.25.

Tabuk Agriculture shares dropped by 4.05 percent to SR71, Qassim Agriculture by 3.16 percent to SR23, Eastern Agriculture by 2.49 percent to SR78.25 and Saudi Fisheries by 2.02 percent to SR84.75.

In the telecom sector, shares of Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) edged lower by 0.37 percent to SR67.50 and Etihad Etisalat by 0.38 percent to SR65.75.

The stocks of 14 companies were in positive territory while 72 companies were in the red yesterday. The stock market turnover also declined to SR7.83 billion yesterday as compared to SR8.26 billion on Saturday.

The Commerce Ministry is expected to reach an agreement with Jabal Omar Development Company today to settle their dispute that had threatened the interests of the company's five million shareholders.

Abdul Rahman Faqeeh, chairman of the company's constituent committee, allayed the fears of shareholders saying Jabal Omar was following legal methods to end the dispute as quickly as possible.

The ministry has allowed 160 real estate owners having a total stake of SR950 million in the company to vote in the general assembly meeting.

The two sides are continuing their negotiations on the right of Makkah Construction Company, which has shares in Jabal Omar, to vote in the general assembly.

Jabal Omar was suffering a daily financial loss of SR3 million as a result of the delay in holding its general assembly meeting.

The ministry canceled the company's first general assembly meeting, saying it lacked the necessary quorum.

Meanwhile, Dr. Saad Al-Barrak, executive president of Zain Saudi Arabia (new brand name of Kuwait's mobile giant MTC), said the initial public offering of the company in the Kingdom would start after Ramadan.

"We are awaiting the decision of the Capital Market Authority," Barrak said. The company will begin its operations in Saudi Arabia in March 2008.

"We don't want to enter into any price war with existing service providers in the Kingdom," said the Zain chief.

He said the Saudi telecom market was currently witnessing strong competition between the two operators, Saudi Telecom Company and Etihad Etisalat (Mobily).

Barrak also disclosed plans to link the company's networks in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.


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