Saudi construction stocks jump, other markets mixed

Big 5

Saudi construction and cement stocks rose in early Sunday trading following a royal decree to reimburse rising expatriate fees that will help labour-intensive sectors.

Other markets were mixed in lacklustre trading.

The Saudi government is allocating 11.5 billion riyals ($3.1 billion) under a scheme to reimburse some of the companies who struggled to pay steadily increasing fees for expatriate work permits in 2017 and 2018 and waive the fee hikes for some who weren’t able to pay, the labour minister said.

The Saudi index rose 0.2 percent with Saudi British Bank jumping 2.3 percent.

Shares in Eastern Province Cement jumped 3.4 percent, Arab Cement rose 3.1 percent and construction firm AlKhodari added 1.8 percent.

These companies were some of the worst hit by a decision to gradually increase the fees for hiring expatriates and obtaining visas for their dependents to encourage companies to hire more locals.

In Dubai, the index was flat. Property developer Emaar rose 1.0 percent while Dubai Investments fell 4.0 percent.

Abu Dhabi index lost 0.4 percent as First Abu Dhabi Bank and property developer Aldar lost 0.6 percent and 1.9 percent respectively.

Qatar index was also down 0.3 percent on a 2.1 percent decline by Barwa Real Estate and 0.8 percent loss by Qatar National Bank.

Source: Reuters

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