Saudi bourse posts record loss as Sabic sinks
Riyadh, January 22, 2008
Saudi Arabia's stock market, the largest in the Arab world, posted its biggest drop on record as Saudi stocks retreat in response to a global equity rout and concerns over future earnings of the country's largest firm.
The index slid 9.67 percent to 9,338.54 points, its sharpest one-day slide on record, surpassing the 9.36 percent decline on July 15, 2006 during a stock market crash.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic), the world's largest chemicals firm by market value, led the sell-off, dropping 9.93 percent, its sharpest drop since July 2006.
The stock has fallen 24.7 percent since its closing price on Jan. 19, when it missed fourth-quarter earnings forecasts and said the U.S. mortgage crisis had hurt demand for chemicals.
'Sabic's announcement that its fourth-quarter profit fell on ... lower demand for petrochemicals triggered concerns about petrochemical prices and a global recession,' said Abdullah al-Rashoud, chief executive at KSB Capital Group. - Reuters