Saudi index rises to 15-month high
Riyadh, July 7, 2013
Saudi Arabia's bourse edged higher to hit a 15-month high as banking shares gain on signs of growth in second-quarter earnings, but trading is muted across the Gulf due to a summer lull.
The index advanced 0.4 percent to 7,697 points, its highest intraday level since April 2012.
Riyad Bank gained 0.2 percent. The lender posted a 5.9 percent gain in its second-quarter net profit, beating analysts expectations.
Banking sector index adds 0.5 percent.
Trading volumes are strong in cement stocks, helping lift the sector benchmark up 0.4 percent.
Investors are bullish on construction and cement stocks as massive infrastructure and housing spending in the Kingdom is expected to filter through to the bottom-line for firms.
Profits in cements stocks however will be capped due to government limits on product sale price as well as production limitations on fuel supply issues to factories.
Most other Gulf bourses also gained; Dubai's index climbed 0.4 percent to 2,273 points, while Abu Dhabi's measure rose 0.8 percent to 3,591 points.
Kuwait's benchmark advanced 0.3 percent to 7,986 points and Oman's bourse ticked up 0.1 percent to 6,447 points.
Qatar's measure slipped 0.2 percent to 9,349 points, trimming 2013 gains to 11.9 percent. - Reuters