Bank Rally Lifts Saudi Shares 3pc

DUBAI - Saudi Arabian shares on Saturday advanced, led by banks after Al Rajhi Bank posted a gain in quarterly profit, as speculation grew that the worst of the credit crisis is over and government measures will help revive the global economy.

By (Agencies)

Published: Mon 13 Apr 2009, 12:08 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:33 AM

Al Rajhi, the country’s largest bank, gained the most since January 13 after it reported an 8.1 per cent increase in quarterly net income. Samba Financial Group, the second-biggest bank by market value, advanced as much as six per cent.

Almarai Co., the largest food producer by market value, gained as much as two per cent after posting a 22 per cent rise in quarterly income.

The Tadawul All Share Index rose 3.2 per cent to 5,200 points, the highest level since January 7. The index has gained 9.3 per cent this year after losing more than half its value in 2008 as oil prices dropped.

“Share prices have picked up in recent weeks after hitting a 64-month low in the first half of March,” Jadwa Investment Company said in its April Monthly Bulletin received on Saturday.

“This is largely the result of improvements in global markets and rising oil prices, as investors have responded favourably to various government stimulus packages and signs that the pace of economic decline may be slowing.”

The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index has rebounded 19 per cent since reaching a 12-year low on March 9 as banks from Barclays Plc to Citigroup Inc. signalled they had a positive start to the year and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner unveiled plans to finance the purchase of as much as $1 trillion in lenders’ toxic assets. Crude oil increased by more than $2 a barrel on April 9, signalling that some investors expect economies to stabilise, bolstering energy demand. Crude oil for May delivery rose $2.86 to settle at $52.24 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have increased 17 percent this year.

Al Rajhi Bank closed 6.28 per cent higher and leads gainers among blue chips. The bank reported on Saturday that net income in the first quarter increased to SR1.73 billion ($460 million), or SR1.15 a share, from SR1.60 billion, or SR1.07, a year earlier. Samba gained five per cent to SR51, the highest level since January 13.

Almarai gained 1.3 per cent to SR151.75 after reporting that first-quarter net income advanced to SR197.4 million from SR1.62 million in the same period of last year. Largest-listed Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, or Sabic, closed 4.61 per cent higher after its affiliate Saudi Fertilisers Company (Safco) posted a 27.4 per cent fall in first-quarter net profit, which has better than analysts’s forecasts. Safco shares added 1.25 per cent.

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

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