Bloomberg News

Saudi Shares Climb for 11th Day on U.S., China Data, Led by Al Rajhi Bank

March 03, 2012

Saudi Arabian shares rose for an 11th day, the longest winning streak since August 2005, after global stocks advanced as manufacturing and jobs data in China and the U.S. boosted the world’s economic outlook.

The Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) rose 0.9 percent to 7,336.21, its highest level since Sept. 28, 2008. The 152-member index’s rally is the longest since a 14-day surge that ended on Aug. 8, 2005. Al Rajhi Bank (RJHI), Saudi Arabia’s largest publicly traded lender by assets, jumped the most in more than seven weeks. Alinma Bank (ALINMA), an Islamic lender, reached its highest price in 23 months.

“The market is rallying as telecom and cement shares are gaining,” said Turki Fadaak, head of research at Riyadh-based Albilad Investment Co. “The index is moving positively, boosted by gains in global markets, although Tadawul has not yet reached levels prior to the 2008 financial crisis.”

U.S. stocks rose this week, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index completing its best February since 1998. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) climbed 0.2 percent, capping an 11-week advance, the longest such streak since its inception in 1988.

U.S. jobless claims fell to equal a four-year low in the week ended Feb. 25 and the economy expanded faster than analysts expected in the fourth quarter, data released this week showed. Chinese manufacturing expanded for a third month in February, a signal the world’s largest exporter is weathering the threat of a global slowdown.

Highest Close

Al Rajhi added 2.2 percent, the biggest increase since Jan. 10, to 80.75 riyals, while Alinma climbed 4.9 percent to 12.90 riyals, the highest close since April 3, 2010. Saudi Cement Co. (SACCO), the kingdom’s second-biggest cement company by market value, strengthened 2.3 percent to 91 riyals, the highest price since April 10, 2006.

Abdullah A.M. Al-Khodari Sons Co. (ALKHODAR), a contracting company, advanced 2.8 percent, the largest increase in a week, to 55.25 riyals. The Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia-based company plans to issue one bonus share for every four held to raise its capital to 531.25 million riyals ($142 million) from 425 million riyals. The company’s board also recommended paying a dividend of 0.5 riyals a share for the second half.

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

To contact the reporter on this story: Mourad Haroutunian in Riyadh at mharoutunian@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net


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