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Saudi stocks end up; Dar al-Arkan soars on sukuk repayment


July 15, 2012 9:31 by

Saudi shares end higher on Saturday, led by gains in the real estate sector as major builder Dar al-Arkan soars in response to news that it is repaying a maturing $1 billion sukuk.

The all-share index closes 0.6 percent higher at 6,701 points while the real estate sector ends 3.8 percent higher.

Dar al-Arkan, which hit a six-month low on Wednesday in heavy trade, rockets 9.8 percent in active turnover after it says on Saturday that it has transferred $1 billion to Deutsche Bank to repay the sukuk on Monday.

The news is not a surprise; Dar al-Arkan had said last Monday that it had taken all needed steps to redeem the debt, and market concern over its ability to do so had eased in recent months as the company raised money from land sales. Nevertheless, some investors appeared to take the latest statement as a cue to buy the stock aggressively at its lows.

Elsewhere, the petrochemical sector closes up 0.2 percent and the banking index ends 0.5 percent higher.

Safco shares fall 0.3 percent after the fertiliser maker posts a 0.8 percent drop in second-quarter net profit to 784 million riyals ($209 million), missing analysts’ forecasts for a profit of around 938 million riyals. It blamed maintenance work at some of its units.

(Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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