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Oil price fuels Saudi exchange

The Saudi Stock Market began with a strong rise for the third consecutive week, with a 1.1% growth margin.

By Abdul Rahman Ismail

The increase was supported by the rise in oil prices, which hit $139 and Al Inmaa Bank, which registered the maximum possible increase of 10% for a third day.

The Saudi Market bucked analysts’ expectations of a negative reaction to the sharp decline in the US stock market on Friday.

Financial analyst and head of Bakheet Financial Group, Bisher Bakheet, said that the market responded strongly to the oil prices and that he also expected strong results would be posted in the third quarter following strong Q2 results.

Al Inmaa bank led the banking sector to post a record rise, which pushed the index to cross the 9,800 point mark before rebounding in the last 15 minutes of trading under pressure of profit gains from the banking and petrochemical sectors.

Value and volume of trading are back to record highs unseen since the beginning of the year as trading rose to S12.7bn ($3.39bn), with 341 million shares traded.

Of these, 116.2 million shares went to Inmaa Bank and Zain, representing 34% of the total trading valued at SR2.5bn ($0.67bn) or 19.6% of market value.

Thirteen sectors listed in the market posted an increase, against only two sectors which posted a decline – the insurance and building material sectors.

Malath registered the biggest decline by 5.3%, apparently affected by the change of its CEO.

All shares in the banking sector registered a rise except for Al Ryadh Bank, which was down 1.9%.

This was considered by brokers to be a normal reaction after the bank’s decision to raise its capital in its portfolios.

All heavyweight shares made strong gains, including the Arab National Bank, which saw a 6%increase, Saudi French Bank 5.8%, Al Rajhi 3.4%, Sabic 0.86%, Kayan 1.9%, Zain 2.8% and the Saudi Telecom Company, which went up by 1.1%.