By Souhail Karam
Reports government is considering lifting export ban led to cement stock rises.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp led early gains on the bourse's benchmark index, although cement stocks posted the strongest rises on Saturday.
The index closed 0.41 percent higher at 4,808.90 points.
SABIC gained 3.46 percent and all the eight listed cement firms ended higher after a newspaper report said the government was considering lifting last year's ban on cement exports if manufacturers stuck to a 10 riyal price per bag.
The ban had a direct impact on the majority of cement firms' profitability over the previous three quarters.
The banking shares' index meanwhile fell 0.53 percent with Arab National Bank leading the losers. (Reuters)