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Tue 19 Oct 2010 06:00 AM

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Saudi shares rise as earnings beat estimates; SABIC advances

Tadawul All Share Index rose to its highest level since Oct 13 at close

Saudi shares rise as earnings beat estimates; SABIC advances
SHARES RISE: Saudi Arabias stocks rose a second day, driven by earnings beating estimations (Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia’s stocks rose a second day, driven by gains in Saudi Basic Industries Corp after the world’s biggest petrochemicals maker said third quarter profit surged 46 percent, beating expectations.

Sabic advanced to the highest level in more than a week after net income soared to 5.33 billion riyals ($1.4 billion).

Saudi Electricity Co, the state controlled utility, gained 2.4 percent before reporting a 34 percent increase in third quarter profit after markets closed.

The Tadawul All Share Index rose 0.4 percent to 6,285.24, the highest level since Oct 13, at the 3:30 pm close in Riyadh. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index of Gulf region stocks rose 0.5 percent.

“Excellent results from Sabic and Mobily” are driving stocks higher, said Ahmed Talhaoui, Abu Dhabi based head of investment at Royal Capital. The earnings are in “sharp contrast with the poor results from banks released a week ago.”

Companies in the Arabian Gulf have started reporting third quarter earnings. The Tadawul declined 1.8 percent last week after six of the kingdom’s lenders reported declines in third quarter profit as they set aside money to cover bad debt.

Sabic shares rose 2.3 percent to 91 riyals, the highest since Oct 10, after yesterday posting earnings that topped the $1.23 billion median estimate of five analysts.

 The company expanded sales of fertilizer and plastics as demand increased and petrochemical prices rose from last year.

Etihad Etisalat, Saudi Arabia’s second largest mobile phone company known as Mobily, said third quarter profit gained to $304 million from $215 million a year earlier.

Mobily plans to spend more than $533.3 million in 2011 to expanding its broadband service infrastructure, chief financial officer Thamer Muhammed al Hosani told Al Arabiya television today. The shares were unchanged 55.25 riyals at the close after gaining as much as 2.3 percent.

Saudi Electricity rose to 14.95 riyals, snapping three days of loses. The company said third quarter profit advanced to $618.6 million from $461.3 million in the year earlier period.

In the UAE, the DFM General Index retreated 0.3 percent to 1,739.25 at the close in Dubai. Abu Dhabi’s measure increased 0.6 percent and Oman’s MSM30 Index gained 0.3 percent.

Qatar’s measure fell 0.3 percent and Bahrain’s gauge rose less than 0.1 percent. The Kuwait SE Price Index advanced 0.2 percent.