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Closing Bell: Saudi benchmark index rises 130 points as China relaxes quarantine norms
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Stock Index gained 130.62 points — or 1.28 percent — on Tuesday to close at 10,359.26 as China announced its plan to scrap quarantine requirements for inbound travelers from Jan. 8.
The news spread a ripple of excitement across the markets worldwide as it marked the easing of the three-year border control that had choked international trade and the global supply chain.
“The announcement that China will remove the last remaining COVID-19 restrictions created hopes of reducing pressure on the global supply chain and hence hopes of lowering inflation and boosting demand recovery in oil,” Junaid Ansari, head of investment strategy and research at Kamco Invest, told Arab News.
The total trading turnover of the benchmark index on Tuesday scaled 78 percent to SR3.45 billion ($920 million) from Monday’s SR1.92 billion, which was the lowest value traded on the exchange in three years. The market breadth clearly reflected the spectacle as 107 stocks of the listed 222 gained while 83 trailed.
“The gain in Saudi Arabia was broad-based, with 17 out of the 21 sectors seeing gains while decliners were marginal. The trading activity also recovered from yesterday’s multi-year low levels indicating investor optimism,” said Ansari.
The Energy Index led the sectoral rally, finishing 99.55 points higher at 5,411.15.
Parallel market Nomu also rode the wave of optimism as it closed 294.29 points up at 19,182.04.
Stock markets in the Gulf Cooperation Council region, except Qatar, were northbound, ending a gloomy streak that had engulfed the area in the recent past.
The day’s top performer was Walaa Cooperative Insurance Co. which wound up 8.42 percent higher at SR15.20.
In contrast, the worst performer was AlSaif Stores for Development and Investment Co., also known as AlSaif Gallery, which debuted on Tuesday on Tadawul at SR115. The share price slipped 14.78 percent to close at SR98 despite the company announcing cash dividends immediately after its launch.
The electric appliance retailer informed Tadawul it would distribute a 10 percent cash dividend, or SR1 per share, for the third quarter of 2022 on Jan. 12.
Academy of Learning Co. on Dec. 27 also recommended a cash dividend of 20 percent of capital, or SR2 a share, for the second half of 2022, totaling SR12 million.
Glass manufacturing company Raoom Trading Co also declared the distribution of cash dividends at SR1 per share for the second half of 2022, according to a statement to Tadawul.
At the end of the day, Al Rajhi Company for Cooperative Insurance, also known as Al Rajhi Takaful, communicated that it signed a contract with Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. to provide health insurance services to the latter’s employees and their families.
In a statement to Tadawul, the insurer said the contract is effective for one year, adding that the contract revenues are expected to be 5 percent higher than 2021 annual gross written premiums.
The contract will likely reflect positively on 2023 financial results, the company said in the statement.
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