Saudi Shares Reach Six-Week High, Led by Mobile-Phone Companies

Saudi Arabian shares rose to a six-week high, led by mobile-phone and petrochemicals companies, after U.S. and European markets rallied in the week and oil prices surpassed $80.

Etihad Etisalat Co., the mobile-phone company known as Mobily, and Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world’s largest petrochemicals maker, paced the advance. The 143-company Tadawul All Share Index gained 0.6 percent to 6335.57, the highest since June 26, at the 3:30 p.m. close in Riyadh.

“The rise is related to petrochemical valuations looking good, as well as some positive news now given that oil prices are above $80 and a bit in the telecom sector,” said John Sfakianakis, chief economist at Banque Saudi Fransi in Riyadh. “But the uptick is not significant given that the news from the U.S. is not that auspicious.”

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 1.3 percent this week, extending last month’s gain of 4.9 percent, as corporate earnings helped alleviate concern that global growth is slowing.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 1.8 percent after companies beat earnings estimates and reports showed expansion in the services and manufacturing industries.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which tracks developing-nation equities, advanced 2 percent, for the longest stretch of weekly gains since March.

Crude oil for September delivery settled at $80.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday. Futures rose 2.2 percent this week. Saudi Arabia holds one-fifth of the world’s proven oil reserves.

Blackberry Services

Mobily surged the most since January, gaining 3.3 percent, to 54.5 riyals. The Riyadh-based company, along with the kingdom’s other two operators, Saudi Telecom Co. and Zain Saudi Arabia, reached an agreement with Research In Motion Ltd. to continue services in the Arab world’s largest economy after the Canadian company decided to let the kingdom’s telecom regulator monitor BlackBerry services, Alarabiya TV reported today.

Sabic advanced 0.3 percent to 88.5 riyals. Al Rajhi Bank, the largest publicly traded lender in Saudi Arabia, rose 0.3 percent, the most in a week, to 79.25 riyals.

Alujain Corp., a Saudi investor in metals-smelting and petrochemicals, soared 9.7 percent to 14.65 riyals, the highest since May 18. The Jeddah-based company said its unit in Yanbu Industrial City, National Petrochemical Industrial Co., began commercial operations to produce polypropylene.

Saudi Arabia’s index is the only Gulf Arab benchmark tracked by Bloomberg that trades on Saturday.

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