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Saudi shares decline most in 4 months
October 14, 2012
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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index slid the most in more than four months as local lenders missed third-quarter earnings estimates.

The Tadawul All Share Index lost 1.7 per cent to 6,682.47 by the 3:30pm close in Riyadh, the sharpest retreat since June 2. Saudi British Bank sank 2.7 per cent to a Dec.21 low of 29.1 riyals. Banque Saudi Fransi, partly owned by Paris-based Credit Agricole SA, retreated 3.3 per cent to 29.7 riyals, the biggest drop since Sept.18 last year.

Saudi British Bank reported a 4 per cent gain in third- quarter profit to 656 million riyals ($175 million) on Oct.10, missing a 826 million riyal forecast. Banque Saudi Fransi posted a 662 million riyal profit the same day, short of the mean estimate of six analysts for 785 million riyals. The Tadawul All Share Bank Index has gained 1 per cent this year compared with a 4.1 per cent rise in the All Share Index.

The Islamic bonds will enhance the bank’s capital base and help expand its lending activities, the Riyadh-based lender said in a statement to the Saudi bourse website. The maturity of the sukuk is no more than five years, it said.

Sales of sukuk in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council have almost quadrupled this year to $18.5 billion as Saudi Arabia’s state-run General Authority of Civil Aviation and Qatar’s government sold $4 billion each, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“We expected bank earnings to weigh on the session today,” Asim Bukhtiar, head of research at Riyad Capital, said in an e-mail. “A sudden spike in provisions led to earnings misses for Saudi British Bank and Banque Saudi Fransi. There could be more negative surprises later in the week.”

Bloomberg

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