Low-key response among investors to Saudi government shuffle

Investor response to Saudi Arabia’s government reshuffle was muted on Sunday, with shares in the kingdom and in the UAE squeezing out only minor gains.

Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index rose by as much as 1.17 per cent in early afternoon trading, but gave up gains in the late afternoon to end the day up just 0.24 per cent at 6,672.48.

“It was a quiet day, the only two supporting points being the Saudi reshuffle and the prospect of a rise in oil prices following the fires in Canada,” said Sebastien Henin, the head of asset management at The National Investor in Abu Dhabi.

“At the end of the day the reshuffle didn’t come as a major surprise, especially after the reforms [crown prince] Mohammed bin Salman has already announced.”

Saudi British Bank, Saudi Electricity and mining firm Maaden were among the big name gainers of the day, all rising around 2 per cent, with heavyweight stock Al Rajhi Bank rising 1.17 per cent.

The impact of the reshuffle on UAE equities was muted, with Abu Dhabi and Dubai bourses registering lower than average trading volumes despite closing in positive territory.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index broke a six-day losing streak on Sunday, ending the day 0.55 per cent higher at 3,325.80.

Air Arabia and Emaar Malls were the best big-name performers, each gaining about 3.3 per cent, although index bellwether Emaar Properties closed 0.16 per cent lower at Dh6.26.

Abu Dhabi’s headline index ended in positive territory for the second consecutive trading day, closing 0.55 per cent higher at 3,325.80, on a day when just 60.7 million shares changed hands.

FGB and Aldar Properties led gains in Abu Dhabi, rising 1.61 and 1.53 per cent respectively. At the other end of the spectrum, shares in Etisalat fell 0.79 per cent to Dh18.85.


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