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MENAFN - Arab News - 10/04/2010

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(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi shares were volatile last week. The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) shed 0.38 percent to close the week at 6,774.98 points, pulled down mainly by the petrochemical and banking sectors.

"The market could witness a corrective move as traders waited for first quarter results," Abdullah Baeshen, board chairman of the TeamOne financial consultancy told Al-Arabiyah television.

He expected the petrochemical and telecom sectors to give an impetus to the Saudi market in the coming weeks, given the rising prices of crude and petrochemical products.

Sector gains on a week-to-week basis were seen in four of the 15 sectors. These were in Media & Publishing, Telecom & IT, Agriculture & Food Industries and Insurance sectors, with gains of 0.04 percent, 0.41 percent, 1.69 percent and 4.27 percent respectively. Sector losses on the other hand were more widespread and ranged from losses of 0.06 percent in both the Cement and Real Estate Development sectors, to a loss of 6.07 percent in the Energy & Utilities, the Jeddah-based Financial Transaction House (FTH) said in its weekly market commentary.

Shares in Al-Rajhi Bank fell 2.63 percent to SR83.25 last week. The other losing banks were Bank AlJazira (down 3.92 percent), Alinma Bank (0.78 percent), Arab National Bank (0.88 percent) and Banque Saudi Fransi (0.64 percent).

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) is expected to announce results early next week, which will determine the direction of the stock as well as have its influence on the TASI. During the week, the stock dropped slightly to SR99, the FTH report said.

The top gainer last week was Al-Sagr Cooperative Insurance Co. as its shares jumped 16.67 percent to SR56. The other gainers were Bupa Arabia for Cooperative Insurance (15.99 percent), The Mediterranean & Gulf Insurance & Reinsurance Co. (8.41 percent) and Tawuniya (6.90percent).

Saudi Fransi Cooperative Insurance Company (Allianz Saudi Fransi) shares surged 1.38 percent as it announced last week that it would issue 10 million new shares through a rights issue from Saturday.

The rights issue offering period will continue for ten working days until April 19. All Allianz Saudi Fransi registered shareholders as of the close of trading on April 3 are eligible to apply for the new shares.

National Agriculture Marketing Co. shares plunged 17.52 percent to SR33.90 last week.

The value of traded shares reached SR16.20 billion last week.

Arab stock markets reflected variant performance last week as investors awaited the release of first quarter results, financial analysts said Friday.

Gainers were led by the Egyptian stock exchange due to intensive buying by foreign funds while the Dubai bourse was the main loser with analysts attributing the decline to pessimism on the part of traders regarding the performance of listed firms in the first quarter of the year.

"I believe regional investors prefer to pursue a wait-and-see approach at this juncture pending the publication of first quarter results to decide their positions in the coming period," an Amman-based portfolio manager said.

"However, we still think that regional markets stand to score fresh gains in the coming weeks, given the adamantly rising oil prices and the improvement in performance of listed firms as reflected by results published so far," he said.

Jordanian shares extended gains last week, buoyed by strong local and foreign demand particularly on real estate and industrial stocks, analysts said.

The all-share price index of the Amman Stock Exchange gained 2.84 percent last week, to crash the 2,600-point barrier and close at 2,603 points, according to the ASE weekly report.

Kuwaiti stocks also rallied last week, receiving support from the banking, investment and services sectors, analysts said.

The KSE all-share index gained 1.3 percent last week, closing at 7,570 points.

The United Arab Emirates shares plummeted last week due to sell-off on the part of foreign investors who were apparently worried over the first quarter results and the prospects of rescheduling Dubai World debts, according to analysts.

The benchmark of the Dubai stock exchange plunged 5.1 percent, closing week at 1,765 points, while the all-share index of the Abu Dhabi stock market closed 1.3 percent in the red, at 2,823 points.

Egyptian shares received support from a strong wave of buying by both foreigners and local investors last week, according to Tareq Hijazi, chairman of the Guarantee financial services firm.

Egypt's AGX30 index, measuring the performance of the market's 30 most active stocks, climbed 5.6 percent last week, to close at 7,249 points from 6,863 points the earlier week.

The GulfBase GCC index increased 0.19 percent to 4,060.71 points. The value of GCC traded shares, however, fell by 5.86 percent to 7.17 billion and volume declined by 18.31 percent to 4.15 billion of shares.

By Khalil Hanware & Abdul Jalil Mustafa


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