Bloomberg News

Saudi Arabian Shares Rise for Third Day on Europe Debt Optimism

September 17, 2011

Sept. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabian shares rose for a third day, led by petrochemical makers and banks, as government officials and central bankers took steps to ease the European debt crisis.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world’s largest petrochemical maker, advanced the most since April. National Industrialization Co., the petrochemicals company known as Tasnee, gained the most in two weeks. Al Rajhi Bank, the kingdom’s largest lender by market value, climbed the most in a week.

The Tadawul All Share Index, the largest bourse in the Middle East by market value, advanced 1.7 percent to 6,173.49, the highest level since Aug. 3, in Riyadh. The 148-company gauge has declined 6.8 percent this year.

U.S. stocks advanced, driving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to the third-biggest weekly gain since 2009, as government officials and central bankers took steps to ease the European debt crisis. The S&P 500 climbed 5.4 percent to 1,216.01 this week, trimming its 2011 loss to 3.3 percent.

“With the S&P above 1,200 and recording four straight up- days, the Saudi market is re-valuing,” Asim Bukhtiar, an equity analyst at Riyad Capital, said. “Gains on global markets are reflective of subsiding investor anxiety. Overall, the Saudi market is sensitive to international news.”

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet pressed euro-area governments on Sept. 16 to take decisive action to halt the debt crisis. Two days earlier, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said they are convinced Greece will remain in the euro zone.

Sabic climbed 2.5 percent to 94 riyals, the highest level since Sept. 11, and Tasnee rose 4.1 percent to 40.6 riyals, the highest since Aug. 3. Al Rajhi added 1.1 percent to 70.25 riyals.

Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange is the only Gulf Arab bourse open on Saturdays.

--Editors: Digby Lidstone, Robert Valpuesta

To contact the reporter on this story: Glen Carey in Dubai at gcarey8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net


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