Insurance sector dominates trading

Updated 08 December 2012
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Insurance sector dominates trading

After spending entire last week with reasonable gains, the Saudi stock market continued its upward march yesterday.
The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) closed 48.9 points or 0.73 percent higher at 6,778.09.
TASI's year-to-date gains improved further to 5.62 percent. Small cap remained prominent among market cap indices, advancing 1.55 percent for the day.
All sectors closed in the upward territory, reflecting a collection of 546.7 points.
Positive performance was boosted by Insurance sector, which surged 44.81 points or 3.08 percent to cross the 1,500 mark. Saudi Indian Company for Co-operative Insurance, Amana Cooperative Insurance and Wataniya Insurance Company showed a tremendous performance among all Saudi equities, soaring up 9.9 percent for the day.
Most of the trading was also concentrated in the Insurance sector, its more than 42.5 million shares were traded yesterday which accounted for roughly one-fourth of the Tadawul volume. The value of these shares reached to SR 2.1 billion, a relative market share of 44.5 percent.
There were 99 net advancing issues, a largely positive market breadth for the day.
Etihad Etisalat Co. (Mobily) made the biggest jump among heavyweight equities, advancing 2.66 percent to close the day at SR 77.


IMF urges Lebanon to make ‘immediate and substantial’ fiscal adjustment

Updated 22 June 2018
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IMF urges Lebanon to make ‘immediate and substantial’ fiscal adjustment

  • Lebanon’s debt to GDP ratio is the third largest in the world
  • Donor states and institutions are looking to Lebanon to implement the reforms in order to release billions of dollars worth of financing pledged at a conference in Paris in April

BEIRUT: Lebanon requires “an immediate and substantial” fiscal adjustment to improve the sustainability of public debt that stood at more than 150 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of 2017, the IMF executive board said.
An IMF statement released overnight said IMF executive directors agreed with the thrust of a staff appraisal which in February urged Lebanon to immediately anchor its fiscal policy in a consolidation plan that stabilizes debt as a share of GDP and then puts it on a clear downward path.
Lebanon’s debt to GDP ratio is the third largest in the world.
“Directors stressed that an immediate and substantial fiscal adjustment is essential to improve debt sustainability, which will require strong and sustained political commitment,” the IMF executive board statement said.
It reiterated estimates of low economic growth of 1-1.5 percent in 2017 and 2018. “The traditional drivers of growth in Lebanon are subdued with real estate and construction weak and a strong rebound is unlikely soon,” it said.
“Going forward, under current policies growth is projected to gradually increase toward 3 percent over the medium term.”
Lebanon’s economy has been hit by the war in neighboring Syria. Annual growth rates have fallen to between 1 and 2 percent, from between 8 and 10 percent in the four years before the Syrian war. Two former pillars of the economy, Gulf Arab tourism and high-end real estate, have suffered.
Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri has been designated to form a new government following parliamentary elections last month, Lebanon’s first since 2009, and has stressed the need for the state to see through long-delayed economic reforms.
Donor states and institutions are looking to Lebanon to implement the reforms in order to release billions of dollars worth of financing pledged at a conference in Paris in April. In Paris, Hariri promised to reduce the budget deficit as a percentage of GDP by five percent over five years.
The directors “noted that a well-defined fiscal strategy, including a combination of revenue and spending measures, amounting to about 5 percentage points of GDP, is ambitious but necessary” to stabilize public debt and put it on a declining path over the medium term.
They recommended increasing VAT rates, restraining public wages, and gradually eliminating electricity subsidies. Last year the government spent $1.3 billion subsiding the state power provider — 13 percent of primary expenditures.