Saudi stocks bask in Trump glow

 22 May 2017 - 0:37

Saudi stocks bask in Trump glow
US First Lady Melania Trump (second right) chats with employees during a visit to the GE All-Women Business Process Services and IT Centre, yesterday in Riyadh.

Reuters

Riyadh:  Saudi Arabia's stock market outperformed a sluggish region yesterday after US and Saudi companies signed over $200bn of deals during the visit to Riyadh by President Donald Trump.
Few of the deals involved listed Saudi companies, and many had been previously announced, or were merely memorandums of understanding that might never lead to concrete projects.
But the positive publicity around the agreements - and the warm welcome given to Trump amid talk of stronger diplomatic and economic ties between the countries - cheered some investors, and the Saudi stock index gained 0.8 percent.
"Sentiment is high because of the deals," said Talal Samhouri, head of asset management at Qatar's Amwal, though he added that from a fundamental point of view, the immediate outlook for the Saudi market was not particularly strong.
"The market is fairly valued, and we're coming to the summer months, where volumes become the lowest during the year," he said.
Mining company Ma'aden rose 1.9 percent. Among the deals announced on Saturday, GE said it would provide technology to Ma'aden to reduce its energy costs and boost efficiency.
Petrochemical companies were strong after oil prices rose sharply at the end of last week, with Saudi Basic Industries, the top petrochemical producer, gaining 1.5 percent.
Construction firm Khodari added 2.3 percent after it sold equipment in an auction for SR43.1m($11.5m), making a profit of SR17.4m.
Abu Dhabi's index slipped 0.2 percent while Qatar dropped 0.5 percent, dragged down by a 1.5 percent slide in Qatar National Bank, the largest lender.
Dubai's index edged up 0.3 percent. Builder Arabtec , the most heavily traded stock, rocketed 11 percent after saying it had won a $398m contract to build a tower in central Dubai.