• Banks, petrochem stocks lift TASI


    Banks, petrochem stocks lift TASI

    The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) ended at to 6,778.99 points

    Saudi shares made their biggest gains in about four weeks as banks climbed after beating forecasts and petrochemical stocks were lifted by climbing oil prices.
    The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) ended at to 6,778.99 points, after gaining 0.92 percent, its largest percentage gain since Dec. 18.
    Saudi Hollandi Bank shares jumped 4.7 percent after the lender was among banks beating forecasts with their fourth-quarter results last week.
    Banque Saudi Fransi, with quarterly results also above estimates, surged 4.9 percent.
    Heavyweight Al-Rajhi Bank gained 0.3 percent
    Petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) added 1.6 percent, a day after US crude oil prices ended up with their best percentage gain in six weeks.
    The sector activity for the day was all positive except 2 losing sectors. The gaining sectors ranged from 0.10 percent by the Cements sector to 1.78 percent by the Banks & Financial Services sector. On the other hand the losing sectors were the Agriculture & Food Industries sector with 0.05 percent and the Media and Publishing sector with 0.20 percent. The overall market breadth for the day was positive with 78 advancers against 46 decliners giving it an AD ratio of 1.69, the Financial Transaction House (FTH) said in its daily market commentary.The stock market reached SR4.04 billion on Saturday.
    The Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB) shares climbed 1.75 percent to SR23.20 as the bank made a net profit of SR238 million ($63.5 million) in the fourth quarter after posting a loss a year earlier.
    Profit from special commissions or lending income rose 20 percent to SR324 million in the fourth quarter compared to a year earlier, the bank said statement on the bourse website on Saturday.
    The bank had suffered a net loss of SR109 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, it said.
    The lender did not say whether it booked provisions for the fourth quarter of 2010.
    Fourth-quarter operational income reached SR412 million, down 12 percent from a year earlier.
    SAIB had booked SR434.6 million in provisions for loan losses in the fourth quarter of 2009.
    The majority of Saudi banks had to book higher provisions all of last year to cover possible loan losses linked to debt defaults by some troubled family-owned Saudi firms.

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