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MENAFN - Arab News - 25/02/2008

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(MENAFN - Arab News) The general assembly of Al-Rajhi Bank has endorsed the proposal of its board of directors to increase the bank's capital from SR13 billion to SR15 billion, Abdullah Sulaiman Al-Rajhi, the bank's CEO announced yesterday.

The meeting also approved the bank's final accounts for 2007 and agreed to distribute dividend (at the rate of half a riyal per share) among its shareholders for second half profits of last year.

The shareholders voted for the following businessmen as the bank's board members for three years: Abdullah Al-Rajhi, Sulaiman Al-Rajhi, Muhammad Al-Eissa, Salah Aba Al-Khail, Muhammad ibn Abdul Aziz Al-Rajhi, Muhammad ibn Abdullah Al-Rajhi, Sulaiman ibn Saleh Al-Rajhi, Abdullah ibn Sulaiman Abdul Aziz Al-Rajhi, Saeed Al-Eisai, Ali ibn Ahmed Al-Shadi and Muhammad Al-Bishr.

Al-Rajhi Bank shares, however, fell by 2.85 percent to SR110.75 yesterday.

Meanwhile, after surging for eight straight trading days, the Saudi stock market tumbled yesterday. The Tadawul All-Shares Index (TASI) dropped 214.83 points or 2.08 percent to SR10,121.23 points.

Only the agriculture sector was in positive territory, while all other indexes fell yesterday. The industrial and banking indexes were down by 2.45 percent and 1.92 percent respectively.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) shares edged lower by 3.27 percent to SR177.

In the banking sector, the only gainer was the Arab National Bank. Banque Saudi Fransi shares fell by 2.64 percent, Riyad Bank by 2.44 percent, Samba Financial Group by 1.77 percent and The Saudi Investment Bank by 1.73 percent.

The cement sector too was in the red yesterday. Southern Cement shares dropped 3.45 percent, Yamamah Cement by 2.94 percent and Arab Cement by 2.56 percent.

Southern Cement's board of directors has proposed the distribution of SR630 million in dividend among its shareholders, an official statement said. The board meeting was presided by Prince Khaled ibn Turki Al-Turki, chairman of the company. "The dividend amounts to 45 percent of the company's capital of SR1.4 billion," the statement said.

Al-Turki said the company's new factory Tihama began operation in the beginning of this month, adding that it was established at a cost of SR1.1 billion, using its own funds.

The National Agriculture Development Co. (NADEC) shares jumped 10 percent to SR66 yesterday.

Shares of six insurance companies rose yesterday. Saudi United Cooperative Insurance Co. shares surged 9.78 percent to SR50.50, Gulf Union Cooperative Insurance Co. by 5.43 percent to SR48.50 and Trade Union Cooperative Insurance Co. by 4.73 percent to SR44.25.

Over SR11.12 billion worth of shares changed hands and out of 114 companies that traded, 69 companies were in negative territory while shares of 28 companies increased yesterday.


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