The Saudi Arabian Stock Exchange closed above the 7,700 mark yesterday for the first time since 2008 as the bourse continues its stellar rise this year.
Stocks on the Tadawul All-Share Index closed up 1.08 per cent to 7,758.66 in Riyadh. The last time the index was above 7,700 was in September 2008. The Tadawul is up more than 20 per cent since January.
Analysts speculated that the surge in equity trading in Saudi Arabia this year was attributable to fresh money entering the market from recent government compensation payments, as the state appropriates privately owned land and property to continue its development of the kingdom. Concern about a new land tax may also be driving investors away from traditional investments in land and to the stock market, analysts said. High oil prices are also thought to be helping to drive the boom.
UAE bourses rose on the lift from Saudi Arabia. The Dubai Financial Market General Index closed up 0.54 per cent at 1,669.18 with below-average volumes. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) closed 0.75 per cent higher to 2,587.67, the biggest rise in almost two weeks.
There was one large cross-trade of 5 million shares in Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank early in the ADX session, an analyst said.
Abu Dhabi's Tourism Development and Investment Company invited bids for main contract work on the emirate's Louvre museum, according to an advertisement in The National.