(MENAFN - Arab News) The Saudi stock market made hefty gains yesterday before the announcement of the Kingdom's 2008 budget, which forecasts expenditures of SR410 billion and revenues of SR450 billion.
A new company, Alkhaleej Training and Education Company, also made a debut on the Tadawul yesterday. The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) surged 249.59 points or 2.49 percent to 10,281.30.
The SR65 Alkhaleej shares opened at SR210 and reached a high of SR215 and a low of SR175.50 before settling at SR181 yesterday. Alkhaleej, which is trading in the services sector, became the 108th company to be traded on the Saudi stock market. Over SR1 billion worth of Alkhaleej shares changed hands yesterday.
The banking sector dominated the trading yesterday as shares of Arab National Bank jumped 9.37 percent to SR113.75 after the announcement of the bank that the board decided to recommend increase in its capital from SR4.55 billion to SR6.50 billion by offering to its shareholders three bonus shares for each seven shares.
Saudi Hollandi Bank shares increased by 7.35 percent to SR62 and Riyad Bank by 6.88 percent to SR89.25 yesterday. Samba Financial Group shares gained by 4.51 percent to SR162 and Al-Rajhi Bank by 3.70 percent to SR112.
The banking index increased by 4.56 percent or 1,203.76 points to 27,615.60 yesterday.
Shares of Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) also surged 5.26 percent to SR15 after Moody's Investors Service assigned SEC's long-term local and foreign currency issuer ratings of A1. The outlook is positive.
Insurance was the only sector, which was down yesterday. Out of 15 companies traded in this sector, shares of 9 companies declined while five companies were in positive territory yesterday. Shares of Sanad Insurance & Reinsurance Cooperative Company remained unchanged.
Saudi Indian Company for Cooperative Insurance's shares fell by 2.48 percent, Alahli Takaful Co. by 2.44 percent and Gulf Union Cooperative Insurance Co. by 1.81 percent.
In the telecom sector, shares of Saudi telecom sector shares of Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) and Etihad Etisalat edged higher by 2.97 percent to SR78 and 1.06 percent to SR71, respectively.
Shares of the newly listed Middle East Specialized Cables Co. (MESC) plunged 4.77 percent to SR79.75.
The stock market turnover, however, dropped slightly to SR11.65 billion yesterday compared to SR12 billion on Sunday and SR15.27 billion on Saturday.