MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi slides on weak petrochemicals

Saudi Arabia’s stock market continued falling in early trade on Tuesday, led by petrochemicals, which sagged as the Greek debt crisis weighed on oil prices.

The main Saudi stock index slid 1.3 %, heading for its third straight daily fall, as the biggest petrochemical producer, Saudi Basic Industries, dropped 1.4 %.

Miner Ma’aden, another blue chip which has been hit hard in the market’s retreat, fell 1.5 %.

But Saudi Ground Services, which listed last Thursday after an initial public offer at a price of 50 riyals per share, climbed 7.5 % to 71.50 riyals. It was the most heavily traded Saudi stock. On Monday, SICO started it with a buy rating and a target price of 74 riyals.

A monthly Reuters survey of 15 leading Middle East fund managers, published on Tuesday, found them relatively negative on Saudi equities because of rich valuations.

Fourteen % of funds expected to raise equity allocations to Saudi Arabia in the next three months and 27 % to reduce them. – Reuters

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