RIYADH (AFP) – Saudi stocks fell three percent on Saturday as the slowing economy in the oil superpower and global economic stress continued to dampen investor sentiment.
Tadawul All-Shares Index dropped 161.57 points to close down 3.04 percent at 5,160.65.
Petrochemicals giant Sabic lost 3.84 percent to close at 56.25 riyals (15.00 dollars), after trading as low as 54.75 riyals.
Developer Emaar fell 7.27 percent to 2.42 riyals (65 cents), while a buoyant profits report pushed Alinma bank shares higher by 3.41 percent to close at 12.1 riyals (3.23 dollars).
Financial stocks were off nearly three percent amid news that six finance companies were weighing a merger as the slower economy takes its toll on business turnover.
At the close on Saturday, the Saudi market, the largest in the Gulf, was 56 percent below its 52-week high of 11,697 on January 12, 2008, but well above last year’s low of 4,224 on November 23.
The Saudi market trades on a Saturday-to-Wednesday week, while others in Arab states of the Gulf trade from Sunday to Thursday.