Jeddah, Dec 22: Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose on Wednesday on the eve of the government’s release of its 2017 budget.
The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) climbed 0.4 percent, though trading volume shrank to its lowest level in two months as many investors became cautious before the budget announcement.
Volumes weakened further to SR3.3 billion, the lowest in two months. The advances-declines ratio was 113/48. Most sectors pivoted into positive territory toward the end of the session even as trading activity mainly centered round a few specific stocks. The retail sector, however, declined.
Arabian Pipes jumped 3.7 percent after saying it won a SR72 million ($19.2 million) order to supply oil giant Saudi Aramco, and Saudi Steel Pipes added 5.5 percent after reporting a similar order.
Arab National Bank fell 0.9 percent after proposing a cash dividend of SR0.45 per share for the second half of 2016, lower than last year. Alinma Bank edged up 0.3 percent after keeping its 2016 dividend unchanged.
On Wednesday, Egypt’s stock market extended a bull run fueled by foreign money and last month’s float of the Egyptian pound.
In Dubai, the index also rose 0.4 percent in thin trade as real estate blue chip Emaar Properties added 0.6 percent.
A 2.6 percent drop in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank pulled Abu Dhabi’s index down 0.3 percent while Qatar’s index was little changed.
Cairo’s index, which surged 3.4 percent on Tuesday to a record high, climbed a further 1.8 percent in heavy volume. Foreign investors remained net buyers of stocks by a small margin, bourse data showed.
Orascom Telecom, beaten down in recent weeks by news of the departure of Naguib Sawiris as managing director, gained 7.1 percent after saying it sold its unit Middle East and North Africa Co. Submarine Cable Systems for $90 million to an Indian company.
Proceeds are to be used to invest in the financial, real estate and logistics sectors, which the government is targeting for expansion under an economic reform program . Orascom was the market’s most heavily traded stock on Wednesday.
Palm Hills Development climbed 2.2 percent after saying it had agreed with Sarwa Capital, Arab African International Bank and Banque Misr to launch a securitized bond based on its receivables.