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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Saudi Tadawul plunges as King Abdullah is taken to hospital

The Saudi ruler was admitted to hospital for medical checks.
Vehicle light trails pass the Kingdom Tower on King Fahad Road in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Saudi stock index is down 2.37 per cent for the year. Waseem Obaidi / Bloomberg
Vehicle light trails pass the Kingdom Tower on King Fahad Road in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Saudi stock index is down 2.37 per cent for the year. Waseem Obaidi / Bloomberg

The Saudi Tadawul index fell more than 5 per cent in intraday trading after Saudi Arabia’s ruler, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, was admitted to hospital for medical checks.

King Abdullah was admitted to the King Abdulaziz Medical City of National Guard in Riyadh, Saudi Press Agency (Spa) said, citing a royal statement.

The index closed down 1.81 per cent at , wiping 14.7 billion Saudi riyals (Dh14.39bn) off the value of companies on the exchange.

The Spa reported the ruler being taken to hospital at 1.14pm UAE time, after which the index lost 370 points in the following half-hour. King Abdullah underwent back surgery in December last year, reportedly due to a herniated spinal disc.

The Tadawul index fell to 8,042.23, 5 per cent below its opening, at 1.33pm UAE time, before rallying slightly.

The index is down 2.37 per cent for the year, with significant declines registered in the fourth quarter of the year as falls in the oil price frightened investors.

In September, with Brent crude trading at US$100 per barrel, the market was trading up 30 per cent against the beginning of the year. These gains have since been erased, with Brent falling to $56.6 yesterday.

The MSCI Emerging markets index had fallen 0.4 per cent late afternoon yesterday.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) and the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) both rose, with the ADX closing up 1.9 per cent yesterday, and the DFM rising 1.2 per cent.

The ADX rose 5.5 per cent in 2014, while the DFM gained 11.9 per cent. Both indexes have largely reversed midyear gains.

The National Bank of Fujairah led gains on the ADX, rising 14.12 per cent in yesterday’s trading, while Ajman Bank gained 12.9 per cent.

abouyamourn@thenational.ae

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