Saudi stocks surge most in 18 months, led by petchems

Saudi Tadawul All Share Index rises as much as 5.71 percent higher to 6197.07.
Saudi stocks surge most in 18 months, led by petchems
STOCK WATCH: Saudi Arabia’s index is the only Arab Gulf index tracked by Bloomberg that trades on Saturday.(Getty Images)
By Bloomberg
Sat 29 May 2010 02:26 PM

Saudi Arabian shares climbed the most in 18 months, led by petrochemicals and helped by oil prices.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp, the world’s largest petrochemical maker, and Saudi International Petrochemical Co, or Sipchem, helped lift the Saudi Tadawul All Share Index 5.35 percent, the biggest gain since Nov. 2008, to 6175.96.

John Sfakianakis, chief economist at Banque Saudi Fransi, said: “After a substantial drop last week, some investors are re-entering the market as bargain hunters. Oil prices have remained above $70, which is seen as good news for petrochemicals and the overall index.”

The Tadawul index on May 25 plunged 6.8 percent, the biggest drop since November 2008, to 5,760.33. Crude oil fell yesterday after a decision by Fitch Ratings to strip Spain of its AAA credit grade pushed the euro lower. Crude oil for July delivery fell 58 cents, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $73.97 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Saudi Arabia holds 21 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves. Sabic surged for a second day, adding 10 percent, the biggest rise since November 2008, to 88 riyals. Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co rose 10 percent, the biggest gain since Oct 2008, to 18.2 riyals.

Sipchem jumped the most in 19 months, climbing 1.9 riyals to 21 riyals. Yanbu National Petrochemicals Company, or Yansab, surged 9.3 percent to 38.8 riyals. Saudi Arabia’s index is the only Arab Gulf index tracked by Bloomberg that trades on Saturday.

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