Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index rose to the highest level in almost two weeks, led by Savola Group and Saudi Arabian Cement Co. as earnings beat estimates.
Savola, a food retailer, advanced to a more than six-year high, while Saudi Arabian Cement, the kingdom’s second-biggest producer of building materials by market value, climbed to its strongest finish since March 20.
The Tadawul All Share Index gained 0.3 percent to 7,149.97, the highest since April 14, at the 3:30 p.m. close in Riyadh.
“Today’s trading session follows the completion of first-quarter earnings results being released, which showed an increase in cement, agricultural and food-processing sectors, which is evident in today’s trading led by Savola,” Turki Fadaak, head of research and consultancy at Albilad Investment Company, said in an e-mail.
Savola posted a 22 percent increase in first-quarter profit and said it expects net income to increase further in the three months through June. Saudi Arabian Cement posted a 4.5 percent increase in first-quarter profit to 340.3 million riyals.
Savola rose 2.2 percent to 47 riyals and Saudi Arabian Cement climbed 0.8 percent to 96.5 riyals.
Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange is the only Persian Gulf bourse that operates on Saturdays.