Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All-Share Index surged yesterday, with investors on a buying frenzy, amid speculation that the stock market will soon open up to foreign investment.
For every share that declined, 23 advanced. The market traded 8 billion Saudi riyals worth of shares yesterday.
"Potential regulatory catalysts on the horizon have kept people interested," said Tarek Lotfy, the head of capital markets at Arqaam Capital in Dubai. "Trading has been extremely active with a lot of liquidity injected into the market."
The Tadawul rose 3.2 per cent to 7,511.72. Zain Saudi was the biggest gainer on the bourse, after the mobile operator narrowed its first quarter losses to 420 million riyals. Zain, which rose 9.5 per cent to trade at 9.20 riyals, had a loss of 532m riyals in the same period a year earlier. The company told investors it was committed to meeting its financial obligations.
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) jumped 4 per cent to 102 riyals apiece after its quarterly results exceeded analyst expectations. Net income declined 5 per cent to 7.27bn riyals. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expected the world's biggest petrochemicals maker to report a net income of 6.64bn riyals. Sabic is trading at attractive levels, at 9.9 times earnings, analysts at NCB Capital in Riyadh said in a note to clients yesterday.
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index rose 0.2 per cent to 2,504.88, while the Dubai Financial Market General Index was little changed at 1,649.14.
Bahrain's index gained 0.4 per cent to 1,144.10; Oman's index rose 0.5 per cent to 5,983.10; Qatar's index fell 0.1 per cent to 8,713.27.