Saudi Stocks Jump Most Since April Before Foreigners Get Access

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Saudi Arabian stocks advanced the most in two months a day before the Arab world’s biggest bourse allows foreigners direct access. Dubai’s benchmark index rose.

The Tadawul All Share Index climbed 1.3 percent to 9,644.57 at the close in Riyadh, led by Al Rajhi Bank, the stock with the biggest weighting on the gauge. Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world’s top petrochemicals manufacturer by sales, was the second-biggest contributor to the gain with a 2.3 percent increase.

“We expect to see retail investors piling in prior to tomorrow’s actual opening up” to direct foreign investment, Tariq Qaqish, a fund manager at Al Mal Capital PSC in Dubai, said by e-mail. “What’s also helping is that oil prices are stabilizing above the $60 level.”

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest exporter, is opening one of the world’s least accessible stock markets to direct foreign investment for the first time as King Salman pushes ahead with efforts to diversify the economy. The Riyadh-based Capital Market Authority last month published regulations allowing foreigners access starting Monday. Investors from outside the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council currently gain entry through equity swaps and exchange-traded funds.

The kingdom’s index has risen 16 percent in 2015, the most in the Middle East. The bourse is bigger than all the major stock markets in the GCC combined. Brent crude, the benchmark for more than half the world’s oil, climbed 11 percent this year to $63.87 a barrel on Friday.

Al Rajhi gained 1.9 percent, the most since May 14, to 66.95 riyals. Sabic climbed to 105.54 riyals.

Dubai Volatility

Dubai’s stocks increased 0.6 percent led by Emaar Properties PJSC. The builder of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, advanced 2.1 percent to 8.19 dirhams, the highest since May 21.

The DFM General Index’s 10-day volatility rose to the highest since April 28 on Thursday. It was little changed on Sunday. Arabtec Holding Co., the United Arab Emirates’ biggest publicly traded construction company, soared 31 percent over three days last week, the most in 11 months.

“There seems to be no rationale for the moves in Dubai,” Montasser Khelifi, a Dubai-based senior manager at Quantum Investment Bank Ltd., said by phone. “We’re not fond of this market, it’s too volatile.”

Arabtec’s shares climbed as much as 6.4 percent before closing 0.4 percent higher.

Abu Dhabi’s index fell 0.3 percent and Qatar’s QE Index lost 0.2 percent. Kuwait’s SE Price Index and Oman’s MSM 30 Index rose 0.1 percent each. Bahrain’s BB All Share Index was little changed.

Egypt Retreats

Egypt’s EGX 30 Index dropped 1.1 percent to 8,534.13, the lowest in almost a month. Egypt’s central bank kept interest rates unchanged on Thursday after inflation climbed to a five-year high.

Israel’s benchmark TA-25 Index declined 0.3 percent to 1,691.66 in Tel Aviv. Dual-listed shares Perrigo Co. and Opko Health Inc. led declines, falling 2.4 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.

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