Saudi Arabian stocks headed for their highest close in almost six years as investors shift funds into the Arab world’s largest bourse after it lagged regional peers this year.
The Tadawul All Share Index jumped 0.8 percent to 9,660.41, at 2:05 p.m. in Riyadh, poised for the strongest level since June 2008. Yamamah Saudi Cement Co. led the advance, increasing 7.3 percent in four times the three-month daily average volume. Trading on the Tadawul yesterday was almost 30 percent higher than its yearly average. Abu Dhabi’s gauge climbed 0.3 percent, taking its increase for the year to 18 percent today.
Shares listed on Saudi Arabia’s main index gained 13 percent this year, compared with a 49 percent increase for Dubai’s DFM General Index in 2014. Qatar’s QE Index jumped 23 percent and the Bloomberg GCC 200 Index climbed 15 percent.
“Asset managers are relocating some of their investments from markets which have been going up fast,” Mohammed Ali Yasin, managing director of NBAD Securities in Abu Dhabi said by phone. “We have seen the exit of some international investors from the United Arab Emirates and some of them have been relocating to Saudi, which had lagged.”
Qatar’s benchmark QE Index gained 0.4 percent, Kuwait’s, Muscat’s and Oman’s measures advanced 0.3 percent. Stock markets in Egypt and Bahrain are closed for the May Day holiday.
Israel’s TA-25 Index climbed 1.1 percent. The yield on the government’s benchmark bonds due March 2023 dropped four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 3.15 percent.
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