Saudi index drops 1.7% to 11-week low

Updated 14 October 2012

Saudi index drops 1.7% to 11-week low

JEDDAH: Saudi shares closed down 1.68 percent to an 11-week low yesterday as the market reacted to last week’s lackluster banking results, weak stocks and a dip in energy prices. The fall to 6,682 points leaves the index at its lowest mark since July 25, Reuters reported. The banking index ended 1.92 percent down in its first session since major banks posted results.
Basil Al-Ghalayini, CEO of BMG Financial Group, said: “This is quite unexpected. The market has been affected primarily by the petrochemical sector as most companies have witnessed noticeable decline in global sales led by Yansab. The latter had recorded almost 47 percent decline during the third Quarter and 28 percent decline year to date. These consecutive declines have been driven by flattering global sales coupled with the temporary shutdown of the Olifins Cracker Unit.”
Commenting on the Tadawul’s steep fall, Jarmo T. Kotilaine, a regional economist, said: “This is primarily reflective of the renewed sense of malaise in the global markets. Last week was marked by bearish sentiment globally, not least because the US earnings data has failed to impress. The IMF/World Bank meetings have further highlighted the challenges while offering little concrete by way of solutions.”
He said the mood in many countries, especially in the euro zone is turning against austerity as reflected in the recurrent large-scale protests.
“In general, there is worldwide anxiety that the respite offered by renewed quantitative easing is doing little to take us closer to a real recovery,” Kotilaine said.


IMF approves $450 million for Pakistan

Updated 27 February 2020

IMF approves $450 million for Pakistan

  • Concerns were raised recently about the future of the $6 billion bailout program
  • IMF’s decision will restore foreign investors’ trust in Pakistan, analysts say

KARACHI: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday reached a staff-level agreement with Pakistani authorities, clearing the way for the country’s third bailout installment of $450 million.
“Completion of the review will enable disbursement of SDR 328 million (around $450 million),” Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, IMF mission chief for Pakistan, said in statement.
He added the agreement is subject to approval by the fund’s management, which is expected in early April.
IMF delegates were in Islamabad from Feb. 3 to Feb. 13 for their second quarterly review of Pakistan’s $6 billion bailout program.
When they left Pakistan without signing the staff-level agreement, concerns were raised about the future of the loan. Analysts say the staff-level agreement ends the uncertainty and investors’ trust is likely to return to Pakistan.
“Foreign investors who had backed off due to lack of clarity about the program review will now come back to the Pakistani market,” senior economist Muzamil Aslam told Arab News.
“The international lenders who had delayed lending will continue their programs for Pakistan. It will restore the confidence of international investors, because they give weightage to the IMF review,” he said.
Pakistan has so far secured $1.44 billion under the IMF loan program since July 2019.