JEDDAH: KHALIL HANWARE
Published — Sunday 6 January 2013
Last update 5 January 2013 11:25 pm
Saudi shares ended higher yesterday lifted by gains in the petrochemical and banking sectors.
The benchmark stock index rose to the highest in more than three months while investors await domestic fourth-quarter earnings.
“There is a feeling of optimism in the local market at the kickoff of 2013 driven mainly by the promising budget,” said Basil Al-Ghalayini, CEO OF BMG Financial Group.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) advanced to the highest since Dec. 22. SABIC rose 0.8 percent to SR 92.25.
The banking index also gained 0.7 percent.
Tamer El Zayat, senior economist at the National Commercial Bank (NCB), said: “Momentum of buying is still going strong based on increased budget allocations across the board to all sectors of the economy and the expected profitability and dividends growth.”
He said Saudi banks are expected to record double-digit growth on the back of loan growth and noninterest income while the petrochemical sector is benefiting from higher oil prices. The Tadawul All-Share Index surged 1 percent to 7,010 points yesterday.
That’s the highest since Sept. 22, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Asim Bukhtiar, vice president/head of research at Riyad Capital, said the Saudi market reacted to positive jobs numbers out of the US and the S&P hitting its five-year high. “Domestically, investors are taking positions ahead of the results announcements as Q4 earnings season kicks off this week,” said Bukhtiar.