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Saudi Stock Market Rises Following Active Trade | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Saudi stock market is up over 4 percent after King Salman made his 31-year-old son his successor on Wednesday.

The Saudi Tadawul index saw a huge boost by news that some benefits for civil servants were being restored.

The Tadawul also cleared a major hurdle from the global stock benchmark provider MSCI to be included among its emerging markets.

The newly announced Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who also serves as defense minister oversees a vast economic portfolio.

“The change is a huge boost to the economic reform programme…Prince Mohammed bin Salman is its architect,” said John Sfakianakis, director of the Riyadh-based Gulf Research Centre.

Financial analysts said Prince Mohammed’s promotion gave stronger assurance that major parts of reforms to diversify the Saudi economy beyond oil would continue.

“We do not expect to see any major changes to key areas of policy, including economic,” said Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

Last year Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who chairs the supreme board of Aramco and heads the Council for Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA), announced major changes aimed at shifting the kingdom’s reliance to oil.

CEDA is a group of cabinet ministers who meet weekly and which oversees all elements of policy that touch on the economy or social issues like education, health and housing.

Saudi Arabia’s stock market started surging more than 3 percent in early trade on Wednesday after Prince Mohammed’s promotion was announced.

After 70 minutes of active trade, the stock index was 3.4 percent higher.

National Commercial Bank, the biggest listed lender, which is expected to play a major role in funding some of the non-oil industries which Prince Mohammed aims to develop, was the top gainer and soared 10 percent.