• Banks power Saudi index to 2009 high


    Banks lead the Saudi bourse to its highest close in 11 months after bankers announced that local lenders reached an agreement with a troubled family-owned conglomerate.The all-share (TASI) index closed 3.08 percent higher at 6,130.95 points yesterday, its highest level since Oct. 22, 2008 when it closed at 6,160.80 points.
    The banking stocks index (TBFSI) adds 7.94 percent while the other heavyweight  petrochemical industry index ends 0.18 percent lower.
    Six banks top the gainers list with SABB, Riyad Bank and Samba  clocking increases of more than 9.5 percent each.
    Saturday is the first trading day after a Sept 16-25 holiday for the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday and the kingdom's National Day.
    A Saudi government panel has brokered a deal between Saad Group  and local creditors that excludes international banks, bankers said on Sept. 17, confirming a report a day earlier by Dubai-based Al Arabiya television channel after market close.
    Saad and another Saudi family-owned conglomerate -- the Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi and Bros Co (AHAB) -- are at the centre of an estimated $22 billion debt implosion.

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