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MENAFN - Gulf Times - 15/12/2011

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(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Bargain hunter helped lift Saudi stocks yesterday, after sentiment was boosted by the appointment of a new central bank governor, while other regional markets ended mixed.

The kingdom's index climbed 0.8%, rising after Tuesday's decline when investors sold off small caps.

"Today (Wednesday), most of the reaction is bargain-buying," said Farouk Miah, acting head of research at NCB Capital. "Yesterday, decent quality stocks were sold off based on nothing." Some analysts said the market took support from the appointment of a new central bank governor in a limited cabinet reshuffle, which some believe could accelerate reform.

"The reshuffle itself puts the right people in the right place," said Saudi-based financial analyst Mohammad Omran. "The newcomers are enthusiastic and know how to achieve the mission. That's why the government picked them and put them in the right position."

Saudi Arabian Fertilisers gained 1%, National Industrialization rose 0.5%, and Yamamah Cement climbed 5%.

Elsewhere, Qatar's measure edged up 0.06% to 8,769 points.
Oman's index climbed 1.2% to 5,723 points; Dubai's measure slipped 0.6% to 1,385 points; Abu Dhabi's index declined 0.2% to 2,443 points; Kuwait's measure eased 0.02% to 5,841 points and Bahrain's measure advanced 0.2% to 1,160 points.

Egypt's measure gained 0.3% to 3,919 points.
In Oman, the index rose 1.2% to a 12-week high.
Oman Telecommunications rose 3.1%, Bank Muscat gained 1.4% and Ahli Bank climbed 2.3%.

"The rally in front line counters reveals that the market is seeing new fund allocations," said Kanaga Sundar, Gulf Baader Capital Markets head of research.

"Investors are looking for dividends and valuations."
UAE markets ended lower in muted activity ahead of an expected decision by index compiler on whether to upgrade the country to emerging market status.

 






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