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Press Dossier    By Date   18/02/2023 Closing bell: TASI dips 24 points as investors get cold feet

Arab News, Saturday, Feb 18, 2023 | Rajab 27, 1444

Saudi National Debt Management Center closes $980m sukuk issuance for February

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index slipped on Thursday as global inflation indicators showed no signs of abating, and fears of its impact on oil demand cast a shadow on the market. 

Tadawul All Share Index closed 24.6 points — or 0.23 percent – lower to end at 10,548.45. 

MSCI Tadawul 30 Index fell 0.13 percent to 1,444.35, and the parallel market Nomu slumped 0.78 percent to 19,258.52. 

TASI’s total trading turnover of the benchmark index was SR4.01 billion ($1.07 billion) as 90 stocks of the listed 224 advanced and 122 receded. 

“Saudi’s TASI dropped marginally as declines in heavyweights energy and banking indices were offset by healthy gains in insurance, media and transportation indices,” said Junaid Ansari, head of investment strategy and research at Kuwait-based Kamco Invest, told Arab News. 

Equity markets in the Gulf Cooperation Council region also lost their sheen on Thursday as investor apathy loomed large across all critical indices of the region. 

While Qatar Exchange Index closed highest among all indices at 191.52 points to 10,641.45, FTSE ADX General Index was the poorest performer losing 27.36 points to 9,962.74.  

Dubai Financial Market General Index and MSX 30 Index ended the session faintly higher at 3,469.59 and 4,653.35 

On the other hand, Boursa Kuwait Premier Market Index and Bahrain All Share Index closed slightly lower at 8,232.43 and 1,935.70, respectively. 

“The trend in oil prices once again decided the course of markets in the GCC this week, especially Saudi Exchange, after the release of the inflation data in the US. As inflation remained elevated, fears of its impact on oil demand and prices weighed on markets,” said Ansari. 

However, the only respite to the bearish sentiment came from the International Energy Agency’s prediction this week that oil demand will rise by 2 million barrels per day in 2023, with China consuming 900,000 bpd of the increase. 

“Qatar and Saudi benchmarks recovered during the week after two consecutive weeks of declines. This week’s gains partially offset year-to-date declines for Qatar while TASI is now in the green with a gain of 0.7 percent,” added Ansari. 

On the announcements front, Al Kathiri Holding Co. informed the Saudi Stock Exchange of its plans to issue the first series of Saudi riyal-denominated sukuk in a public offering. 

The issuance will be determined later based on market conditions, the company said in a statement to Tadawul. 

The company has mandated Alkhair Capital as a financial adviser and the sole lead manager for the issuance. Its share price fell 0.38 percent to SR52. 

Arabian Internet and Communications Services Co.’s board of directors, on Feb. 15, recommended the payment of a cash dividend at 50 percent of capital or SR5 a share for 2022, distributing a total of SR594.9 million. 

The company on Thursday reported a 27 percent rise in net profit after zakat and tax to SR1.05 billion in 2022 from SR833 million a year earlier. However, its share price slumped 9 percent to SR240.

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