(MENAFN - Arab News) The Saudi stock market has continued to stay in negative territory so far this year after falling over 40 percent in 2007. Despite the Capital Market Authority's (CMA's) various confidence-building measures, at the end of the first nine months of this year, the Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) closed at 7,458.50 points, down 354.62 points or 4.54 percent over the close of the same period of the previous year.
On an YTD basis TASI lost 3,580.16 points or 32.43 percent. Highest close level for the index during the period was 11,697.01 points on Jan.12.
The Saudi Stock Exchange has successfully launched and implemented the new market sectors and indices from April. After the new market structure the number of sectors became 15, instead of 8, and market indices 16, instead of 9, and is calculated based on the free-floated shares only.
The Tadawul also started displaying the substantial shareholdings of the listed companies on its website to enable investors to view all substantial shareholders who own 5 percent or more of each company's shares from Aug. 16.
The CMA allowed recently authorized persons to enter into swap agreements with non-resident foreign investors whether institutions or individuals, to transfer the economic benefits of the Saudi companies' shares listed on the Tadawul while authorized persons retain the legal ownership of the shares. In September, Tadawul has successfully implemented the new tick size with the three bands.
According to the Tadawul report, total equity market capitalization at the end of the first nine months of 2008 reached SR1.45 trillion (387.05 billion), increasing by 9.14 percent over the same period of the previous year.
The total value of shares traded for the 1st nine months reached SR1.64 trillion (436.43 billion), decreasing by 18.35 percent over the same period of the previous year. The total number of shares traded dropped by 7.58 percent to 43.17 billion shares for the first nine months of this year compared to 46.71 billion shares traded during the same period of 2007.
The total number of transactions executed so far this year declined by 19.39 percent to 43.05 million compared to 53.41 million trades during the same period of the previous year.
There were various new listings and initial public offerings (IPOs) during the first nine months of this year.
In January, Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. was listed with a paid up capital of SR8.76 billion. The company offered 219 million shares at SR21 per share.
In February three companies were listed on the Saudi bourse. Arabia Insurance Cooperative Co. was listed with a paid up capital of SR200 million divided into 20 million shares. The other company Trade Union Cooperative Insurance Co. was listed with a paid up capital of SR250 million and Al-Sagr Cooperative Insurance Company was listed with a paid up capital of SR200 million.
On March 22, Mobile Telecommunications Company Saudi Arabia (Zain KSA) was listed with a paid up capital of SR14 billion.
In May, three companies were listed in Saudi Arabia. Bupa Arabia for Cooperative Insurance Co. was listed with a paid up capital of SR400 million. Saudi Re for Cooperative Reinsurance Co. was listed with a paid up capital of SR1 billion and Mohammad Al-Moajil Group Co. was listed with a paid up capital of SR1 billion divided into 100 million shares.
In June, Alinma Bank was listed with a paid up capital of SR15, Basic Chemical Industries Co. (BCI) was listed with a paid up capital of SR220 million, and United Cooperative Assurance Co. (UCA) was listed with a paid up capital of SR200 million.
Abdullah Al-Othaim Markets Co. with a paid up capital of SR225 million, Halwani Bros Co. with a paid up capital of SR285,714,300 and Saudi Arabian Mining Co. (Maaden) with a paid up capital of SR9.25 billion were listed in July.
Astra Industrial Group Company with a paid up capital of SR741,176,470 was listed in August, and Methanol Chemicals Company was listed in September with a paid up capital of SR1,206 million. There were 13 IPOs in the first nine months of this year.
Seven companies, including Jabal Omar Development Company and Kingdom Holding Company, were included in the TASI so far this year.
Over 20 companies also raised their paid up capital this year.
The number of brokerage firms active in the market reached 28. The new members joined the Tadawul were Saudi Pioneers Securities, Watan Investment and Securities, Al-Tawfeek Financial Group, Watheeqa Capital Company, Arabian Company for Securities Business (Arabian Capital), Middle East Financial Investment Company (MEFIC) and Aldukheil Financial Group.