Saudi post-budget rally stalls, UAE bourses firm
The Saudi Arabian stock market’s post-budget rally ran out of steam yesterday as the index neared technical resistance, while United Arab Emirates bourses outperformed the region.
The Saudi index added 1.5 percent on Sunday in reaction to Riyadh’s modestly expansionary state budget for 2017. But it closed 0.3 percent lower at 7,166 points yesterday in lower trading volume. Technical resistance lies at this year’s peak of 7,235 points, hit earlier this month.
Utility Saudi Electricity, which jumped 8.7 percent on Sunday after the government said in the budget that it would raise domestic fuel and electricity prices by unspecified margins later this year, fell back 2.6 percent.
The petrochemical sector, which had outperformed after the budget plan pledged not to raise gas feedstock prices before 2019, slipped 0.4 percent.
But Zain Saudi, which rose 1.9 percent on Sunday after saying it was in talks to sell its mobile transmitter towers to a consortium of TASC SAL and ACWA Holding, climbed a further 3.0 percent yesterday. In Dubai, the index rose 0.8 percent as trading volume expanded. Amusement park operator DXB Entertainments gained 3.9 percent.
Shuaa Capital initially rose as much as 2.6 percent after it bought 14 percent of Bahrain’s Khaleeji Commercial Bank, a subsidiary of GFH Financial Group , on Sunday for 9.6 million dinars ($25 million). But Shuaa closed down 1.3 percent. Retail and hospitality firm Marka, which surged last week after news that its chief executive Nick Peel had resigned, continued pulling back, losing 2.6 percent.
Abu Dhabi rose 0.4 percent on the back of strength in blue-chip banks such as Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, up 1.6 percent. In Egypt, the index dropped 0.6 percent amid profit-taking in blue chips such as Global Telecom, down 4.0 percent. But Arabia Cotton Ginning, which climbed 5.9 percent on Sunday after its board approved splitting the company into two separate entities, rose by the same margin again yesterday.