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MENAFN - Arab News - 20/02/2011

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(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi shares declined for the fifth day on Saturday as turmoil spread in the Middle East.

The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) dropped 1.59 percent to 6,383.88, the lowest level since Feb. 1. The sector activity for the day was all negative except 1 gaining sector. The losing sectors ranged from 0.22 percent by the Media and Publishing sector to 4.12 percent by the Multi-Investment sector. On the other hand the Cement sector gained 1.21 percent. The overall market breadth for the day was negative with 15 advancers against 128 decliners giving it an AD ratio of 0.11, the Financial Transaction House (FTH)- licensed by the Capital Market Authority (CMA) - said in its daily market commentary.

The stock market turnover reached SR3.98 billion on Saturday.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), the world's largest petrochemical maker, slumped 1.73 percent to SR99.50, Al Rajhi Bank, the Kingdom's largest publicly traded lender by market value, dropped for the sixth day by 1.90 percent to SR77.25, the lowest since Nov. 28. Etihad Etisalat Co., the second-largest phone company by market value, dropped 2.37 percent, the most in three weeks, to SR51.50.

Kingdom Holding Co. declined the most in at least four years after it said it hasn't reached an agreement with Mobile Telecommunications Co. to buy the Kuwait-based company's 25 percent stake in Zain Saudi Arabia. Kingdom Holding shares tumbled 9.80 percent to SR9.20. Zain Saudi dropped 4.32 percent to SR7.75.

Saudi Cement Co., the country's second-largest producer, shares jumped 5.81 percent to SR51 as it announced on Saturday that its net profit rose by 13 percent in 2010 as it boosted capacity to meet higher local demand, Reuters said.

Saudi Cement made a net profit of SR660 million in 2010 compared with SR582 million in the previous year, the firm said in a statement.

Operational profit increased 14 percent to 681 million riyals from 598 million riyals in 2009.

Cement companies in Saudi Arabia are still faced with an export ban that was imposed in 2008 after cement prices skyrocketed as firms sought more lucrative offers abroad, leading to a shortage in local market and a hike in prices.


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