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Saudi Shares Rise the Most in 12 Weeks; Mobily Gains on Earnings

Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabian shares gained the most in 12 weeks after the country’s second-largest phone company posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat estimates.

Etihad Etisalat Co., which trades as Mobily, advanced to its highest closing price in almost a year after reporting quarterly profit that beat analysts’ estimates. Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world’s largest petrochemicals maker, gained the most in six weeks.

The Tadawul All Share Index jumped 1.4 percent to 6,464.17 at the close in Riyadh, the gauge’s biggest increase since Oct. 29. More than three shares climbed for every one that dropped.

“With the earnings season over, investors are digesting the results and adjusting positions on future expectations,” said Asim Bukhtiar, an equity analyst at Riyad Capital. “Better-than-expected results announced last Wednesday are lifting the telecoms.”

Mobily rallied 3.7 percent to 55.75 Saudi riyals, its highest price since Jan. 26, 2011. The Riyadh-based company said after the close of the Saudi market on Jan. 18 that fourth-quarter profit climbed 16 percent to 1.7 billion riyals ($453 million) as revenue from data services increased. That beat the mean estimate of nine analysts who forecast a profit of 1.48 billion riyals. The company said it plans to pay a dividend of 2 riyals a share for the second half.

Sabic contributed the most to the index’s rally, adding 1.6 percent to 93.25 riyals. Al-Rajhi Bank, the kingdom’s largest publicly traded lender by assets, increased for a second day, gaining 1.1 percent to 72.50 riyals.

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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