Northern Region Cement Triples in Trading Debut: Riyadh Mover

Northern Region Cement Co., a Saudi Arabian producer of the building material, tripled on its first day of trading in Riyadh.

The stock soared to 30 riyals at the close in the Saudi capital from the initial public offering price of 10 riyals each, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. About 234 million shares were traded, comprising more than half the volume traded on the benchmark Tadawul All Share Index today.

Saudi companies helped the region more than double share sales in 2012 as the largest Arab economy raised $1.4 billion from IPOs, Ernst & Young International said in December. Cement makers in the world’s biggest oil exporter are benefiting from about $500 billion in government spending on projects. The All Share Cement Index has gained each year since 2009, including an advance of 14 percent in 2012.

“There is a positive outlook on the cement business in Saudi Arabia” given high demand for the building material, said Mohammed al-Omran, a financial analyst and president of the Gulf Center for Financial Consultancy in Riyadh.

Northern Region Cement is the 13th cement company to sell shares in the kingdom after Najran Cement Co. and City Cement Co. started trading last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The IPO follows share sales in the kingdom in 2012 that included Dallah Healthcare Holding, Alinma Tokio Marine Saudi Arabia, Takween Advanced Industries, Al Tayyar Travel Group, Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance Co. and Saudi Airlines Catering Co.

Northern Region Cement’s trading debut came as Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported the company plans to acquire a stake in Iraq’s Kubaisa Cement Plant this year, citing Chief Executive Officer Saud Saad Al Arife.

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