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MENAFN - Arab News - 17/02/2008

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(MENAFN - Arab News) The initial public offering of Saudi Arabia's third GSM operator Zain oversubscribed by 151 percent yesterday with more than 5.05 million investors purchasing 952 million shares worth SR9.52 billion.

Banque Saudi Fransi, which manages the IPO, said 95 percent of subscribers used electronic means such as the Internet and ATMs to purchase shares, adding that individual subscribers had bought an average of 188 shares.

Also yesterday, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) announced the periods when company board members and senior executives are banned from dealing in stocks at the Kingdom's bourse.

For companies whose financial year ends on March 31, the ban begins from March 4 until the announcement of annual results. With regard to those companies whose preliminary financial year ends on March 31, the ban will commence on March 18 and end with the announcement of the company's financial results.

Companies whose financial year ends on April 30, the ban begins on April 5, and ends with the announcement of preliminary or final annual results. For companies that follow the Hijri calendar and their financial year ends on 29/04/1429 corresponding to May 5, the ban begins on April 8 and ends with the announcement of results. With regard to those companies that follow Hijri calendar and their financial year ends on 29/3/1429 corresponding to April 6, the ban begins on March 24 and ends with the announcement of preliminary financial results.

The stock market, however, reacted positively to the CMA announcement. The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) jumped 300.98 points or 3.28 percent to 9,486.05 yesterday.

The banking, industrial and agriculture sectors dominated trading yesterday. Al-Rajhi Bank shares increased by 5.59 percent to SR103.75, Banque Saudi Fransi by 4.93 percent to SR85 and Saudi Hollandi Bank by 4.21 percent to SR49.50.

In the industrial sector, shares of Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) edged higher by 4.80 percent to SR163.75. Saudi Cable Co. (SCC) shares surged 9.67 percent to SR76.50. Shares of Saudi International Petrochemical Co. fell by 2.81 percent to SR34.50, Advanced Polypropylene Company by 1.81 percent to SR40.50 and Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. (Petro Rabigh) by 1.06 percent to SR46.25.

Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) shares advanced by 5.55 percent to SR14.25 yesterday.

In the telecom sector, shares of Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) and Etihad Etisalat increased by 0.70 percent and 1.50 percent, respectively.

The insurance sector showed mixed performance yesterday. Saudi IAIC Cooperative Insurance Co. shares gained by 9.84 percent to SR175.75 and Alahli Takaful Company by 9.58 percent to SR145.75.

Shares of Arabia Insurance Cooperative Company and the newly listed Trade Union Cooperative Insurance Co. and Al-Sagr Company for Cooperative Insurance declined yesterday.

The stock market turnover was SR7.88 billion yesterday.

BMG Index Crosses 500 Points

The BMG Saudi Index went beyond the 500-point level in yesterday's trading session, closing at 509.53 points, up by 3.7 percent from its Wednesday's closing level. The market turnover declined by 16.4 percent to SR3.3 billion (889 million).

The insurance sector declined by 2.4 percent while the agricultural sector appreciated by 6.3 percent; the electricity and banking sectors rose by 5.6 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively. The industrial, services, and telecommunications sectors moved forward by 3.7 percent, 1.4 percent, and 0.7 percent, respectively.

Only 6 shares saw their prices go down, while 3 shares maintained their previous close. The best performer was Qassim Agriculture Co., whose share price advanced by 7.0 percent to SR19, whereas the worst performer was Malath Cooperative Insurance and Reinsurance Company, with 4.5 percent drop in its share price to SR116.25.


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