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Arab News, Thursday, Mar 16, 2023 | Sha'ban 24, 1444

​​Closing bell: TASI tanks 159 points as oil slide sparks selloff

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index fell 158.67 points — or 1.55 percent — to close at 10,048.50 on Wednesday as Brent crude fell 4 percent, hitting its lowest in over a year. 

The contagion took off after Saudi National Bank, Credit Suisse’s largest shareholder, pulled the plug on its financial assistance to the beleaguered investment bank, citing regulatory reasons. 

Brent crude fell $3.20, or 4.1 percent, to $74.25 a barrel by 3:33 p.m. Riyadh time after touching $74.01 for its lowest since December 2021. US West Texas Intermediate crude was down $2.86, or 4 percent, at $68.47, having also hit its lowest since December 2021. 

Stock markets in the Gulf Cooperation Council region also raised the guard as Bahrain, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat were in red even as Kuwait closed slightly higher.    

Closer to home, the parallel market Nomu dropped 124.80 points — or 0.66 percent — to 18,840 while MSCI Tadawul 30 Index fell 21.40 points — or 1.55 percent — at 1,356.49. 

On the announcements front, Nama Chemicals Co. reported a 33.68 percent increase in net profit to SR37 million in 2022 from SR27.7 million in 2021. 

Revenues of the Jubail-based firm rose 4.14 percent to SR577.21 million in 2022 from SR554.27 million in 2021. 

In a filing to the stock exchange, the company said that the profit growth was due to an increase in average selling prices of almost all end products. 

The chemical producer, however, bore a net loss of SR17.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to a net profit of SR3.28 million in the year-ago period. Its share price fell 1.09 percent to SR31.65. 

Salama Cooperative Insurance Co.’s net losses before zakat shrank 48 percent to SR55.32 million in 2022 from SR106.41 million in 2021. 

Losses were reduced as net written premiums increased 72.2 percent to SR701.95 million in 2022 from SR407.58 in 2021 and general and administrative operating expenses by 19 percent to SR74.7 million from SR92.6 million. The insurer’s share price closed marginally higher at SR13.96. 

Tabuk Agriculture Development Co. announced the sale of 10 percent of its shares, or 800,000 shares, in its affiliate Horizon Food Co. for SR29.6 million in the Nomu-Parallel Market. 

According to a statement to the stock exchange, the book value of these shares, as of Sept. 30, 2022, reached SR9.1 million, which led to an exceptional decline in accumulated losses by SR19.3 million, excluding the offering costs. 

The company still owns a 40 percent stake, or 3.2 million shares, in Horizon Food. TADCO’s shares closed slightly higher at SR16.74. 

Saudi Electricity Co. reported a 5.17 percent hike in net profit to SR15.135 billion in 2022 from SR14.39 billion in 2021. 

Its revenue advanced 3.95 percent to SR72.07 billion in 2022 from SR69.33 billion in 2021. 

The surge in profit could be attributed to higher operating revenue due to the growth in demand for electric power and the increase in the balancing account amounts compared to the prior year. 

SEC’s board of directors, on March 14, recommended the distribution of a cash dividend at SR0.70 per share, or 7 percent of capital, for 2022, totaling SR2.9 billion. Its share price closed flat at SR22. 

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the board of directors of National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia, also known as Bahri, recommended increasing capital from SR4.92 billion to SR7.38 billion via a 50 percent bonus issue of one bonus share for every two shares held. 

In a separate filing to Tadawul, Bahri announced that the board proposed a cash dividend payment of 5 percent, or SR0.5 a share, for 2022. Its share price jumped 1.18 percent to SR29.95.

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