JEDDAH – Turnover on Saudi Arabia’s bourse hit a five-year peak Sunday as money poured in with stocks hitting a new three-and-a-half year high, while real estate stocks weighed on Egypt’s bourse after results disappointed.
The Saudi stock benchmark Tadawul All Share Index climbed 0.2 percent to its highest close since Sept.14, 2008 at 7,615.69 points.
Shares worth SR18 billion ($4.8 billion) changed hands, the highest daily value since April 2007. “Most of the turnover is because of speculative behavior that we haven’t seen in years,” said Tarek Al-Madi, a Saudi-based independent analyst.
Fresh funds are rushing in from other asset classes such as real estate, analysts said.
Trading focused on small-caps. Dar Al Arkan surged 7 percent, Zain Saudi gained 9.9 percent and Alinma Bank climbed 3.9 percent. These three stocks together accounted for about half of all shares traded.
Investors were targeting stocks trading near their par-value of SR10, Madi added.
Elsewhere, UAE stocks fell on profit-taking. Abu Dhabi’s index ended 0.7 percent lower to 2,606 points, down for a second session after five straight gains.
Dubai’s benchmark finished 1.4 percent lower, cutting year-to-date gains to 22.7 percent.
Aldar Properties dropped 5 percent and Sorouh Real Estate fell 6.5 percent.
In Kuwait, the bourse ended at an eight-month high, as investors continued to pick up small-caps.
The index gained 0.5 percent to its highest close since June 27. It extends year-to-date gains to 7.2 percent, underperforming some other Gulf bourses.
“Kuwait’s move (year-to-date) compared to the rest of GCC (Gulf states) is nothing,” said a Kuwait-based trader who asked not to be identified, adding this was drawing in foreign investors eyeing a potential catch-up move by the index. “And local investors are back into small-caps.”
Oman MSI slipped 0.4 percent to 5,927 points.
Bahrain gained 0.1 percent to 1,153 points.
In Qatar, index ended 0.1 percent higher at 8,671 points, up for a second session in five. – SG/Reuters