Saudi Stocks Advance for Fifth Straight Day; Bank Shares Climb


By Zainab Fattah and Matthew Brown


April 26 (Bloomberg) — Saudi Arabian stocks rose for a fifth straight day, led by banks and construction companies on speculation that near-record oil prices will boost economic and earnings growth and spur government spending.

Saudi British Bank, 40 percent-owned by HSBC Holding Plc, climbed to the highest since 2006. Samba Financial Group, the second-largest bank in Saudi Arabia by market value, posted its biggest rally this year. Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Co. advanced the most in two months after it started a company to develop an area in Jeddah.

“Oil prices are increasing day after day, which can only be good for our economy,” said Abdulla al-Aqil, a trader at Samba Financial Group in Riyadh. “Investors are optimistic on banking stocks since most Saudi banks’ earnings came in above expectations.”

The Tadawul All Share Index increased 1.5 percent to 9,902.74 in Riyadh, the biggest gain in three weeks, as 12 of 15 industry groups advanced.

Crude oil for June delivery yesterday touched $119.55 a barrel in New York, near a record $119.90 reached on April 22. Prices are 80 percent higher than a year ago.

Saudi Arabia’s economy will grow 4.9 percent this year, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg in December. As oil money boosts growth in the Persian Gulf region, investors in the Gulf states are spending $2.4 trillion on new homes, offices, hotels and infrastructure projects, Dubai-based Proleads said in a November study.

Bank Shares

Saudi British Bank jumped 4 percent to 171 riyals, the highest since October 2006. The Riyadh-based bank this month posted its biggest first-quarter profit growth in two years.

Samba Financial surged 8 percent to 91 riyals.

Al-Rajhi Bank, the biggest bank in Saudi Arabia by market value, rose for a seventh day, climbing 3.3 percent to 93.25 riyals. The company said this month that first-quarter profit increased as surging oil prices boosted the kingdom’s economy.

Dar Al Arkan added 2.8 percent to 63.5 riyals, its biggest gain since Feb. 17. The developer will own 51 percent of the 580 million-riyal ($154.6 million) company, while the rest will be owned by an arm of the Jeddah municipality, according to a statement posted on the Web site of the Saudi bourse.

Red Sea Housing Services, which provides ready-made housing units for the oil industry, surged for a sixth day, adding 6.3 percent to 93.5 riyals.

SABB Takaful dropped 2.5 percent to 86.25 riyals. The Shariah-compliant life insurer reported a loss of 44.6 million riyals for the period between May 15 and the end of December, according to a statement on the Web site of the Saudi bourse.

The Tadawul is the only Arab exchange monitored by Bloomberg that’s open on Saturdays.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zainab Fattah in Dubai on [email protected]; Matthew Brown in Dubai at [email protected].


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