Saudi bourse starts week higher despite spike in COVID-19 cases: Closing bell – Arab News

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RIYADH: The Kingdom’s stock exchange made a positive start to the trading week despite a surge in coronavirus cases globally.
TASI, the main index, closed 1.14 percent higher at 11,560 points, while the parallel Nomu market added 0.8 percent to reach 25,831 points.
This was driven by gains in some of Saudi’s biggest players along with some major banks, including Alinma Bank.
It hit an all-time closing high of SR26.1, with around 15 million shares changing hands.
Shares in Al Rajhi Bank and Bank Aljazira also pushed the main index up, rising 0.7 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.
The Saudi National Bank was up 1.2 percent as the National Commercial Bank, or NCB, concluded the final phases of a merger with Samba Financial Group to form SNB.
Saudi oil giant Aramco rose by 0.7 percent to SR35.7.
Shares of Petro Rabigh saw the highest gains in today’s session, amounting to 10 percent.
The Gulf’s mining champion, Saudi Arabian Mining Co., known as Ma’aden, saw a 2.4-percent increase in its share price amid the Kingdom’s preparation to host the Future Minerals Forum this week.
Shares in Saudi National Co. for Learning and Education, or NCLE, rose 3.3 percent.
This came after a 378-percent profit increase during the quarter ended Nov. 30, 2021, compared to the same quarter last year.
Saudia Dairy and Foodstuff Co.’s, or SADAFCO, dropped 1.6 percent, despite the board’s proposal to payout SR3 per share for the first half of the fiscal year ended Mar. 31, 2022.
Saudi International company for water and power projects, also known as ACWA Power, is set to begin of the first phase of Dubai-based Noor energy 1 project.
The project is in line with Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy 2050, as it aims to boost clean energy share in Dubai to 25 percent by 2030, saving 1.6 million tons of carbon dioxide in the process.
A bourse filing confirmed that a commercial operation certificate had been issued approving the beginning of the work on the project, which has a total capacity of 217 megawatts.
The Saudi-based utility developer owns a 25 percent net stake in the UAE-based project.
The financial impact associated with this is expected be reflected in the financial results of the first quarter of 2022.
ACWA power is a developer, investor, co-owner and operator of a collection of power generation and purified water refineries. It operates in 10 countries across the Middle East and North Africa region, Southern Africa and South East Asia.
 
JPMorgan Chase & Co intends to increase the number of private banking employees in Asia by more than 100 people this year, two people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
The firm is joining its peers in a bid to capture a larger share of the region’s wealth.
Meanwhile, about a fifth of the new hires will focus on clients in mainland China, which is among the world’s fastest growing wealth markets, despite unprecedented regulatory measures there.
Italy’s unemployment rate
Italy’s unemployment rate fell to 9.2 percent in November, from 9.4 percent in October, with about 64,000 jobs created a month.
Employment in the three months to November rose by 70,000, or 0.3 percent, compared to the June-August period, as the economy continued to recover after the recession caused by the coronavirus 2020, according to ISTAT.
The number of employed people rose by 494,000 or 2.2 percent, compared to November 2020.
However, employment was still down by 115,000 compared to the pre-pandemic level in February 2020, the last month before COVID-19 began in Italy.
Egypt’s inflation rate
Egypt’s annual urban consumer price inflation rose to 5.9 percent on a yearly basis in December from 5.6 percent in November, according to the country’s statistics agency CAPMAS.
Eurozone unemployment rate
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the eurozone declined in November 2021 to 7.2 percent from 7.3 percent in October 2021, and from 8.1 percent on an annual basis.
Meanwhile, the EU unemployment rate was 6.5 percent in November 2021, down from 6.7 percent in October 2021, and from 7.4 percent year on year, according to  Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU.
 
RIYADH: The Kuwait Gulf Oil Co. has signed an initial agreement with Saudi Arabian Chevron Co. to export spare gas from the Wafra Joint Operations area. 
Initially, the company exported 12 million cubic feet of surplus gas. It expects to reach around 40 to 50 million cubic feet in the next five months, and around 80 to 100 million in four years, KGOC’s deputy CEO, Mohammed Al Haimer, said.
In line with the Kuwait Environment Public Authority gas burning regulations, the parties agreed to develop short and long term operating plans to export gas surplus from the Wafra Joint Operations area to the KGOC refineries, KUNA reported.
This comes as part of KGOC’s efforts to achieve an optimal utilization of oil in the joint operations area, Kuwait News Agency reported, citing Al Haimer. 
Covering an area of 5,000 square kilometres, the Wafra Joint Operations is located in the Partitioned Zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and is operated jointly by both companies. 
RIYADH: The Saudi stock exchange was up for the second consecutive day, despite omicron fears and a slight fall in oil prices.
The main index TASI recorded gains amounting to 0.9 percent to close at 11,665 points, its highest value since November. The parallel market Nomu remained flat at 25,846 points.
Gains were boosted by the Kingdom’s Al Rajhi Bank, which added 1.5 percent, reaching a one-month high of SR146 ($38.9).
This was supported by a 1.1 percent increase in Saudi Investment Bank, SAIB, and a 0.2 percent increase in Alinma Bank, with more than 10 million shares traded in the latter.
SAIB’s positive performance came as the Saudi stock market regulator, CMA, approved its request to increase capital to SR10 billion through offering bonus shares.
One of the Kingdom’s largest firms by market value, fertilizer producer SABIC Agri-Nutrients, witnessed a 3 percent surge in its share price, up to SR175.
This came as Al Rajhi Capital estimated profit growth for SABIC Agri-Nutrients at 802 percent for the fourth quarter of 2021.
In energy trading, Brent crude settled at $81.3 per barrel, while US WTI crude oil edged down to $78.3 per barrel as of 3:34 p.m. Saudi time.
RIYADH: The Saudi Investment Bank, known as SAIB, got the Capital Market Authority’s green light to increase its capital to SR10 billion ($2.7 billion) through offering bonus shares.  
This will raise SAIB’s capital by 33 percent, up from SR7.5 billion, a statement by the CMA on Jan. 9 revealed.
SAIB is to extract the amount, equivalent to SR2.5 billion, from its statutory reserve account.
It will grant its eligible shareholders one bonus share for every three shares.
The decision came as a step towards improving the bank’s capital base to support growth and meet future financial needs, SAIB said in a bourse filing last December.
Riyadh-based SAIB was established in 1977 and has a market cap nearing SR16 billion as of Jan. 10.

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