Saudi Arabian shares rose yesterday to their highest in a week as a series of equity upgrades by HSBC helped to lift sentiment.
Savola Azizia United, the Saudi food producer, rose 1.9 per cent to 26.70 riyals a share.
Abdullah Al Othaim, the country's second-biggest supermarket giant, gained 1.6 per cent to 92.25 riyals. Both stocks were upgraded to "overweight" from "neutral" at HSBC.
"We find the valuation of food retailers cheap, and given that they are on track to produce strong results for the third quarter, alluring," wrote Raj Sinha, an analyst at HSBC in Dubai in a note to clients.
Jarir Marketing rose 2.7 per cent to 167.75 riyals after the office supplies retailer had its price target raised to 185 riyals a share from 180 riyals by HSBC.
The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index ended its trading week 0.8 per cent higher at 5,969.32 points, the highest level since August 17. In the UAE, the Dubai Financial Market General Index lost 0.1 per cent to 1,457.34, despite news from the developer Nakheel on a sukuk issue that was expected to lift investor sentiment.
Nakheel will issue the first tranche of a Dh4.8 billion Islamic bond to trade creditors today, its chairman said, as part of a complex debt restructuring under way since 2009.
Arabtec, a Dubai contractor and one of Nakheel's trade creditors, lost 1.45 per cent to Dh1.36.
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index rose 0.2 per cent in the market's third straight gain this week after Etisalat said it appointed Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar to a newly created group chief executive role. Elsewhere in the region: Kuwait's index added 0.2 per cent to 5,781.90; Bahrain's index lost 0.2 per cent to 1,261.72; Oman's measure gained 0.4 per cent to 5,516.56; and Qatar's benchmark slipped 0.1 per cent to 8,109.24.