DUBAI / Reuters
Most major Gulf stock markets rose on Sunday in response to a modest recovery on Wall Street and in oil prices at the end of last week, while a sweeping reorganisation of Saudi Arabia’s economic policy-making apparatus boosted shares there.
The Saudi stock index closed 0.2 percent higher after rising as much as 1.0 percent at one stage. Petrochemical blue chip Saudi Basic Industries gained 0.3 percent.
The Saudi reorganisation replaced the oil minister and central bank governor and restructured some major ministries, creating a super-ministry under Khalid Al-Falih to manage the growth of industry and resource
State utility Saudi Electric climbed 1.8 percent. Saturday’s reshuffle moved the electricity portfolio to the new super-ministry; this could give fresh impetus to a restructuring of Saudi Electric, which has been discussed for years with little progress.
Insurers were also strong, with Saudi Arabian Cooperative Insurance jumping its 10 percent daily limit.
Dubai’s index gained 0.6 percent to 3,326 points, bouncing from near technical support on the late March lows of 3,248-3,253 points, though trading volume was low.
Riyadh to maintain ‘stable’ oil policies
Riyadh / AFP
The new energy minister of Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, on Sunday pledged continuity in the kingdom’s oil policy, after being named in a major government overhaul.
“Saudi Arabia will maintain its stable petroleum policies,” Khalid Al Falih said in a statement a day after King Salman appointed him to replace longtime former oil minister Ali Al Naimi.
“We remain committed to maintaining our role in international energy markets and strengthening our position as the world’s most reliable supplier of energy,” Falih added. Salman tapped Falih, the chairman of state oil giant Saudi Aramco, to head an expanded energy, industry and mineral resources portfolio.
His predecessor Naimi had led the now-defunct ministry of petroleum and mineral resources for about two decades.