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MENAFN - Arab News - 04/05/2009

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(MENAFN - Arab News) The Saudi stock market made solid gains in April. The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) increased by 921.76 points or 19.60 percent over March to close at 5,625.51 points.

According to Tadawul's monthly report for April, total equity market capitalization at the end of April reached SR1.06 trillion (282.16 billion), increasing by 19.67 percent over the previous month. The total value of shares traded surged by 50.64 percent from March to reach at SR131.67 billion (35.11 billion) in April.

The total number of shares traded jumped by 32.60 percent to 6.51 billion in April compared to 4.91 billion shares traded in March.

The total number of transactions executed during April increased by 18.89 percent to 3.79 million compared to 3.19 million trades for the month of March. Number of trading days during April were 21, against 23 trading days in March.

The month of April was very active for IPOs for some insurance companies. AXA Cooperative Insurance Co., ACE Arabia Cooperative Insurance Co., Weqaya for Takaful Insurance and Reinsurance Co. and Al-Rajhi Company for Cooperative Insurance (ARCCI) launched their IPOs last month.

Al-Rajhi Financial Services Co., lead manager and sole underwriter for ARCCI's IPO, has announced that shares have been allocated to a minimum of six for the individual subscriber and 292 shares were allocated to the maximum number of individuals (43 persons) per subscription form.

Allocation of the IPO has been completed as per recognition of the Capital Market Authority (CMA), the stock market regulator. The total number of subscribers reached 902,049 which represents a total amount of SR538,926,500 and an oversubscription of 898 percent. Commenting on the overwhelming response to ARCCI's IPO, Basil Al-Ghalayini, CEO of BMG Financial Group, ARCCI's IPO financial adviser, said, "Such results send strong signals about the economic strength of the Saudi market from a liquidity point of view and set out the solid belief by the investors in the growth opportunities within the Saudi market and in the stable conscientious policy set by the CMA."

The TASI, however, ended yesterday with a slight dip of 17.3 points, or 0.31 percent to close at 5,626.76. Nonetheless, overall market breadth remains positive, with 76 advancers and 42 decliners giving an AD ratio of 1.81.

"Today saw a weak session as profit-taking scenario took hold as expected by most traders after a long period of strong gains, and due to lack of any local news the index direction could be strongly affected," Faisal Alsayrafi, managing director and CEO of the Jeddah-based Financial Transaction House (FTH), said.

The stock market turnover was over SR6.46 billion yesterday. Saudi Indian Company for Cooperative Insurance was the top gainer as its shares jumped 10 percent to SR55, while Sanad Insurance & Reinsurance Cooperative Company shares plunged 10 percent to SR40.50 yesterday.

By Khalil Hanware


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