• (TASI) gaining 8.15 percent on annual basis


    The Saudi benchmark closed the year at 6,620.75 points
    The Saudi stock market turnover for the week reached SR14.94 billion
    Saudi stocks were the key beneficiary in the Middle East in 2010, with the Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) gaining 8.15 percent on annual basis, thanks to the strong performance of the petrochemical sector, analysts said.
    The Saudi benchmark closed the year at 6,620.75 points, representing a 1.6 percent weekly gain. On a week-to-week basis, the sector activity was mixed with 7 out of 15 sectors closing with gains ranging from 0.19 percent by the Petrochemical Industries sector to 6.83 percent by the Media and Publishing sector. On the other hand the losing sectors for the week ranged from 0.13 percent by the Real Estate Development sector and by the Transport sector to 3.46 percent by the Cement sector, the Financial Transaction House (FTH) said in its weekly market commentary.
    The top gainers for the week were the Gulf General Cooperative Insurance Co. with a gain of 16.25 percent to close at SR51.50 and the Tihama Advertising & Public Relations Co. with a gain of 12.40 percent to close for the week at SR29.00. The biggest losers for the week on the other hand were the Al-Ahlia Insurance Co. with a loss of 28.70percent to close at SR36.90 and the Arabian Cement Co. Ltd. losing 10.24 percent to close at SR34.20, the FTH report said.

    The Saudi stock market turnover for the week reached SR14.94 billion.
    The petrochemical sector, which scored annual gains of 20.78 percent in 2010, helped the market to surmount the pressures of global fluctuations, said Saudi analyst Mohammad Shmaimri who runs a financial consultancy bureau in Riyadh.

    However, he detected a weakness in the performance of the Saudi banking sector due to the increasing volume of toxic loans.
    Another Saudi analyst Mohammad Anqari believed the Saudi stock exchange was viewing the new year with "optimism" mainly due to the huge spending the government planned to carry out in fiscal 2011 and the rising crude prices.
    "An expansion of between 40 percent and 50 percent in the market's liquidity in December indicates that investors enter the new year with a positive outlook," he said.
    The GulfBase GCC Index increased by 0.62 percent to 4,136.53 points last week. The value of GCC traded shares surged 9.13 percent to $5.73 billion and volume rose 14.51 percent to 2.43 billion of shares.

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