Saudi Arabian Shares Advance as Banks, Petrochemicals Climb

Saudi Arabian stocks added 0.1 percent to 7,041.58 by the close in Riyadh today, boosted by banks and petrochemical companies.

The Tadawul All Share Index reached the highest level since Feb. 18, with Al Rajhi Bank (RJHI), the kingdom’s biggest lender by market value, gaining 0.7 percent to 68 riyals, the highest gain in more than a month, and Bank Al-Jazira (BJAZ) advancing 4 percent to 28.9 riyals, the biggest gain in six weeks. Northern Region Cement Co. (NORTHCEM), the building material producer, climbed 9.7 percent to 23.7 riyals, the highest since Feb. 10.

The Saudi stock exchange has been moving in a “horizontal direction” for several weeks as “there aren’t any substantial changes in the market,” Turki Fadaak, head of research and consultancy at Albilad Investment Co., wrote in an e-mail.

“The market is anticipating any signs that indicate an increase in the demand for petrochemicals globally, which will reflect on the performance of the petrochemical sector as the shares have reached the highest prices in three years,” Fadaak said.

Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange is the only Persian gulf bourse open on Saturdays.

To contact the reporter on this story: Deema Almashabi in Riyadh at dalmashabi@bloomberg.net

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

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