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Sat 17 May 2008 05:09 PM

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Saudi market gets week off to disappointing start

Index drops 1.21% to 9,664.54 points on poor performances from banks.

Saudi Arabia's main index got the week off to a disappointing start on Saturday, with poor performances from banks pulling the benchmark down to a lower close.

Lenders Banque Saudi Fransi and Arab National Bank both saw their share price slip, while Riyad Bank saw its plummet after it started subscription for a $3.5 billion rights issue.

Banque Saudi Fransi dropped 2.56%, Arab National Bank 3.62%, and Riyad Bank tumbled 5.49%.

The benchmark declined 1.21% to 9,664.54 points. The index is down 12.58% this year to Saturday's close, making it the Gulf Arab region's worst-performing measure.

Saudi Arabia is the only Gulf market to trade on a Saturday.