Saudi stocks end week higher

RIYADH - Saudi Arabian stocks closed the week 1.5 per cent higher, after gaining 76.5 per cent in 2003 on strong oil prices and healthy company earnings.


Published: Sun 4 Jan 2004, 12:13 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:00 AM

The largest Arab bourse's all-share index ended the week to Thursday at 4,432.51 points from 4,365.83 a week earlier.

It ended 2003 at 4,437.58 points, up from 2,518.08 points at the end of 2002.

Bakheet Financial Advisors said in its annual report that the 2003 increase was the second highest in the history of the bourse and had partly been fuelled by high oil prices and the repatriation of some investments. "We expect the uptrend to continue in 2004, as investors were encouraged by the positive company results in 2003. Oil prices are also expected to remain high, which will boost the economy," the report said.

Turnover rose to 13.1 billion riyals ($3.5 billion) from 10.7 billion riyals the previous week. Petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp, the most active stock with about 13 per cent of total turnover, gained 4.4 per cent to close at 331 riyals.

Saudi Telecom was also busy and ended the week at 422.75 riyals, up from 418 riyals a week ago. Saudi Electricity Company added one riyal to 101.25 riyals Strong oil prices in 2003, which saw average U.S. crude prices at a 20-year high, have been a boon for the economy of Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter.

The 2003 state budget has achieved a surplus of 45 billion riyals, only the second surplus in two decades, and blue chip companies have posted strong nine- month earnings.

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