RIYADH/DUBAI: Saudi Arabia on Sunday launched a parallel equity market designed to boost small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that closed up 20 percent, the maximum allowed in a single day, brokers said.
The index on the parallel market, Nomu, listing seven companies, closed at 6,000 points with trading of SR256 million (about $67 million).
Argaam, a Saudi economic website, put the total capitalization of the seven companies trading on Nomu at SR1.8 million ($479 million).
The companies listed are Raydan Restaurants, Baazeem Trading Company, Arab Sea, Al-Omran Trading, Abdullah Saad Abo Moati, Food Development Company and Al-Samaani Metal.
Argaam said Baazeem was the most active on Sunday with 2.2 million shares trading hands.
To be listed on Nomu, companies must have a market value of at least SR10 million ($2.7 million), a minimum of 35-50 shareholders and at least 20 percent of shares publicly owned.
Nomu’s launch was announced last Monday by Tadawul, which said the new equity market was “an alternative trading platform with lighter listing requirements.”
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 for small- and medium- sized firms to account for 35 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), up from 20 percent.
Tadawul, which has a capitalization of about $400 billion, opened to direct investment by qualified foreigners for the first time in 2015.
Meanwhile, the Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) edged up 0.1 percent. Real estate investment trusts (REITs), which have been soaring since Al-Jazira Maten REIT listed in mid-February, continued to rise in heavy trade; Al-Jazira climbed 9.8 percent and Riyad REIT gained 9.4 percent.
In Qatar, the index also edged up 0.1 percent but Qatar Navigation (Milaha) dropped 4.5 percent after it swung to a surprise fourth-quarter net loss of QAR47.7 million ($13.1 million).
Dubai’s index rose 0.2 percent in the lowest trading volume since Dec. 21. DAMAC Properties, the developer, which earlier this month opened a Donald Trump-branded golf course and residential project in Dubai, added 1.4 percent in unusually heavy trade.
Abu Dhabi’s index was 0.1 percent higher as First Gulf Bank gained 0.7 percent. Kuwait’s market was closed for a national holiday.
In Egypt, the index closed 0.2 percent higher, coming well off its intra-day high. Palm Hills Development rose 1.6 percent after local media said the company was obtaining a loan of 852 million Egyptian pounds ($54 million) from the National Bank of Egypt and National Bank of Abu Dhabi; the company subsequently said it was in talks with banks for such a loan but no agreement had been signed.
But Arab Cotton Ginning tumbled 8 percent as heavy profit-taking in the stock continued, and Global Telecomn lost 2.8 percent.