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MENAFN - Arab News - 01/12/2007

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(MENAFN - Arab News) The Saudi stock market fell slightly last week after rising five weeks in a row. The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) dropped 54.47 points to 9,464.40. The index closed at 9,518.87 points in the previous week.

Investors are keeping an eye on Dar Al-Arkan Real Estate Development Company, which begins its initial public offering today. Dar Al-Arkan offering more than 59.45 million shares valued at SR3.33 billion to Saudi individuals and institutions at the rate of SR56 per share.

Eissa Al-Eissa, the CEO of Samba Financial Group, which manages the IPO, said his organization has completed all arrangements for the smooth operation of the IPO. He said the Dar Al-Arkan IPO would strengthen the Kingdom's real estate sector. Potential subscribers can purchase a minimum of 10 shares and a maximum of 500,000 shares, he said.

Meanwhile, analysts expected big demand for Dar Al-Arkan shares as many Saudis prefer to invest in the real estate sector, which is one of the fast growing economic sectors in the Kingdom.

Market observers are also watching Jabal Omar Development Co., which will begin trading on the Tadawul today.

"This listing will pump some liquidity giving investors the chance to get into Dar Al-Arkan IPO which coinciding to start at the same day of Jabal Omar's first trading day," the Riyadh-based Bakheet Investment Group (BIG) said in its weekly report.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) and Al-Rajhi Bank have lost 4.22 percent and 3.48 percent, respectively, for last week only. SABIC shares grew by 33 percent and Al-Rajhi's 28 percent during the five previous weeks.

The BIG report said this recent growth has pushed investors to profit-taking in fear of more retreats that might happen due to the restructuring of mutual funds in respect to the reframing of the Saudi stock market indexes and sectors which was announced recently by the Capital Market Authority.

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) shares gained 3.75 percent to SR76 last week as it announced winning of 26 percent of the 3rd mobile license in Kuwait in its globalization strategic plans.

The BIG said in its report that after the reasonable correction, the Saudi stock market expected to be rather steady during the coming days.

Shares of Saudi Arabian Cooperative Insurance Co. jumped by 18.75 percent to SR152 last week, Zamil Industrial Investment Co. by 13.57 percent to SR96.25, Saudi Industrial Development Co. by 8.57 percent to SR28.50, Arriyadh Development by 8.05 percent to SR23.50 and Banque Saudi Fransi by 7.83 percent to SR89.50.

Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co. was the top loser last week as its shares dropped 7.50 percent to SR37. In the insurance sector, shares of The Mediterranean & Gulf Insurance & Reinsurance Co. fell 5.53 percent to SR55.50.

The stock market turnover was slightly down at SR49 billion last week compared to SR50.63 billion in the previous week.

Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co. was most active by value as SR2.11 billion worth of shares changed hands last week. However, its shares fell 1.28 percent to SR19.25.

The GulfBase GCC Index was also down 1.12 percent at 6,290.33 points. The value of GCC traded shares declined 9.97 percent to 20.54 billion and volume fell 12.16 percent to 6.36 billion shares.


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