Saudi stocks surge more than 3% in early trade

Saudi Arabia stock market rebounded more than 3.0 percent in early trade Sunday, as investors took solace in the end of week rebound in oil prices and global bourses.

Saudi’s index surged more than 6.0 percent in the opening minutes of trade and touched 5,834 points, before falling back to 5,680 points, but was still up 4.0 percent.

Petrochemical stocks, which have been battered by weakness in oil prices, carried the bourse higher. The sub-sector index climbed over 6.5 percent in first 10 minutes of trade.

Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC), the largest petrochemical firm, surged 8.5 percent to 67.25 riyals ($17.93) per share.

Earnings season has officially ended in Saudi Arabia, but some companies reported late on Thursday, before the rallies in oil and global stock markets.

Al Rajhi Bank jumped 6.1 percent, the kingdom’s second-largest lender by assets having reported a 28.2 percent rise in its fourth-quarter net profit on Thursday. The Islamic lender made 1.95 billion riyals ($519.6 million) compared to analysts forecasts of 1.67 billion riyals.

The banking sector’s total net income increased 3.8 percent year-on-year to 10 billion riyals while loans grew 8.2 percent over the same period, said a note by Saudi-based NCB Capital.

“We believe that the increase in the bottom lines was primarily driven by higher operating income,” the note added.

Mobily rocketed 8.6 percent. The affiliate of the United Arab Emirates’ Etisalat, made a net profit of 11 million riyals in the three months to Dec. 31, its first profit after nine quarters of losses. An analyst forecasted the mobile operator would make a quarterly profit of 125.1 million riyals.

Zain Saudi, another telecom operator, traded up 5.9 percent. The company, 37-percent owned by Kuwait’s Zain , made a net loss of 291 million riyals in the fourth quarter. Two analysts forecasted Zain Saudi would make a loss of 247 million riyals and 232.7 million riyals respectively.

Source: Reuters