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ME Violence Batters Stock Markets
JEDDAH, 17 July 2006 — The Saudi stock market continued its plunge yesterday. After falling over nine percent on Saturday, the Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) dropped another2 . 92percent to close at 10,443.26, down314 . 35points.
Out of 81 stocks traded, six were higher while shares of73 companies declined yesterday. The stock market turnover, however, increased to SR 19billion compared to SR 6billion on Saturday.
All the sector indexes were down yesterday. The Banking index fell563 .89 points to29 ,691. 05and the Industrial index was lower by766 . 62points to22 ,335.48.
In the banking sector, shares of Samba Financial Group jumped4 . 27percent to SR152. 50and the Saudi Investment Bank by 1. 65percent to SR106.25. Saudi Hollandi Bank’s shares increased slightly to SR 85yesterday. In the cement sector, shares of Saudi Cement rose1 . 04percent to SR97.50. The other two companies which gained yesterday were Jarir and Adrees.
Shares of Saudi Ceramic Co., Saudi Industrial Services Co., Nama Chemicals, Assir and Thim’ar plummeted 10 percent each yesterday. Shares of Saudi basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) fell to SR 141and Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) to SR18.
In the telecom sector, shares of Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) and Etihad Etisalat dropped to SR 98and SR67, respectively.
Middle Eastern stock markets also tumbled yesterday as investors worried that escalating violence in Israel and Lebanon could trigger a wider regional conflict.
Egypt’s exchange suspended trading after the benchmark index plummeted9 . 5percent to an11 -month low while Qatar’s main index closed6 . 08percent down, its sharpest one-day decline on record.
Egypt’s index slumping early on to its lowest level since August2005 . After a brief suspension, the market recovered some losses and closed4 . 8percent lower at43 ,309. 48points. Investment bank EFG-Hermes, which has a 23 percent stake in Lebanon’s Banque Audi, dropped16 . 7percent to 26 Egyptian pounds.