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Saudi Stock Market hit a record of 17.4 billion dollars in 2000

January 06, 2001
Trading volumes on the Saudi bourse hit a record of 17.4 billion dollars in 2000, a year when the correlation between oil prices and market performance weakened. Bakheet financial advisors reported.

The Riyadh-based investment specialists said the NCFEI index rose 11.3 percent over the year, but "this increase was less than expected given the usual high correlation between the Saudi stock market and oil prices.

In August, the NCFEI climbed to 2,392.8 points, another record in the 15-year history of the index, but it took a U turn in the final quarter under the negative influence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

BFA said 2001 performance would depend on "the speed of implementing previously announced economic and financial reforms, the start of the privatization process" and diversification from oil as the key driving force of the Saudi economy.

The NCFEI is the most capitalized in the Arab world, at more than 60 billion dollars, but it operates only on an interbank market system.

Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf called last week for the rapid creation of a formal stock market to improve transparency and boost private sector investment.

But a formal bourse "will not necessarily lead to a halt to Saudi capital flowing abroad, as the kingdom has long been an exporter of its economy to absorb them and its openness to the world." Financial analysts in the Gulf state estimate that a staggering 600 billion dollars in Saudi funds are invested abroad.  saudia-Online.com

Source: Beirut Times

Related story in brief

STOCK MARKET

AS A RESULT OF THE INCREASE IN ECONOMIC ACTIVITY AND THE IMPROVEMENT IN INVESTMENT ENVIRONMENT, THE STOCK MARKET CONTINUED TO IMPROVE DURING 2000. THE NCFEI SHARE INDEX STOOD AT (2,286) AS OF DECEMBER 14,2000 COMPARED TO (2,028) AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR INCREASING BY 13 PER CENT.


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06 January 2001 06:29:36 PM