Last Update 12:14
Sunday, 25 July 2021

Saudi stocks soar after king's spending spree

Index climbs quickly on Friday's announcement of $93bn welfare package

AFP , Sunday 20 Mar 2011
(Photo: AP)

Saudi stocks rose sharply at the start of trading on Sunday, in the stock market's first session since King Abdullah ordered unprecedented economic benefits worth around US$100 billion.

Tadawul All-Shares Index (TASI) gained 5.6 per cent just minutes after trading opened.

All 145 listed shares increased as well as the main 15 sectors led by the construction and cement industries, which added 5.3 per cent each, following the king's announcement on Friday.

It was the second spending package in less than a month to be announced by King Abdullah, who appeared to be responding to the sweeping unrest in the Arab world that since January has ousted long-time leaders in Egypt and Tunisia.

Banque Saudi Fransi estimated the new package to be worth around $93 billion, on top of the first deal announced in late February that was valued at around $36 billion.

Saudi Jadwa Investment said on Sunday that the two substantial spending packages would boost the economy and the Saudi bourse, where prices of shares have become attractive for buyers.

The Saudi monarch also ordered the spending of 250 billion riyals ($67 billion) to build 500,000 housing units.

The king ordered a minimum monthly wage of 3,000 riyals ($800) for civil servants, up from 2,185 riyals, and introduced a monthly unemployment benefit of 2,000 riyals for job-seekers. The payments are to start after about eight months.

Unemployment in the world's biggest crude exporter was 10.5 per cent last year, but ran as high as 30 per cent in the 20-29 age group, with an estimated 450,000 Saudi citizens out of work.

Short link:



© 2010 Ahram Online.