• Strong GCC economies to spur bourses


    Strong GCC economies to spur bourses

    TASI shed 0.45 percent on weekly basis

    Arab stocks were volatile last week as investors evaluated first quarter earnings of listed firms to decide their holdings of shares, financial analysts said on Friday.
    They contended that the adamantly surging oil prices and the strong economies of the Arab states in the Gulf area would provide a catalyst for regional stocks in the coming period.
    Saudi shares lost some ground last week as traders got the impression that prices could go down after the release of first quarter results.
    The Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) of the Arab world’s largest stock exchange shed 0.45 percent on weekly basis, closing at 6,574.92 points.
    The decline came despite a declaration by Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) that it had posted a 42 percent increase in its profits for the first quarter to about $2 billion.
    ”I believe the retreat of the market after the release of SABIC’s quarterly profits reflects uncertainty due to rumors circulated among investors that prices could go down after the declaration of quarterly earnings,” Saudi analyst Mohammad Anqari said.
    He expected Saudi stocks to ”move sideways” this week reflecting traditional volatility after the revelation of quarterly earnings.
    Anqari said that the growth of earnings of Saudi banks in the first quarter of 2011 indicated that the country’s banking sector enjoyed ”stability” that qualified it to expand credit potential after it managed to get rid of toxic loans over the past two years of the global financial crisis.
    Kuwaiti stocks closed in the green last week, led by the banking and investment sectors.
    Qatar’s index shed 1.5 percent on weekly basis, closing at 8,647 points, while Bahrain’s benchmark declined 0.8 percent to close week at 1,400 points.

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