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Arab News, Thursday, Mar 14, 2019 | Rajab 7, 1440

Saudi shares rise as index outperforms Gulf peers

Saudi Arabia: Dubai’s stock market rose on Wednesday, supported by a jump in courier firm Aramex, while Saudi Arabia also gained as most of its banks traded higher amid rising oil prices.

Saudi Arabia’s index was up 0.95 percent, with Al Rajhi Bank gaining 0.92 percent and its largest lender National Commercial Bank adding 0.57 percent.

The index is up around 8.5 percent this year, outperforming major Gulf markets, with big investors in Saudi Arabia pushing ahead with deals and pouring money back into stocks as the country tries to move on from journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.

Foreign net buying in the Saudi market picked up in the first week of March, coming in at SR985 million ($263 million), the highest since the week ending Jan. 17, Arqaam Capital said.

Developer Arriyadh Development added 1.47 percent after the Capital Market Authority approved an increase in capital to SR1.78 billion from SR1.33 billion through a bonus share issue.

In Dubai, the index was up 0.05 percent, with Aramex climbing 9.13 percent in active trade. Australia Post Transaction Services sold its 10 percent stake in the firm for 602.6 million dirhams ($164.1 million).

That opened up the possibility for a new foreign investor to buy into the company, Arqaam Capital said, adding this was “an excellent time” to buy the stock.

Dubai Investments gained 2.3 percent. Its board proposed a cash dividend of 10 percent of share capital for 2018. The firm posted a 35 percent drop in its net profit for the year.

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