GulfBase GCC Cap Indices
Large Cap4,019 -0.10
Med Cap3,848 -0.05
Small Cap4,895 -0.24
Micro Cap8,498 -0.25

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Ticker Price Volume
GFH 0.5 1,361,733
BKSB 0.14 70,617
DANA 0.62 13,288,208
DAMAC 3.85 372,716
DSI 0.39 34,049,322
ALINMA 16.47 22,194,374
SABIC 98.09 2,208,800

Market Review and Outlook

Source: NCB Capital

Earnings in the Cement Sector Decline

Aggregate domestic cement production of 12 companies increased in Sep by 9.7% Y/Y to 28.26 mn metric tones, while the production share of the 8 listed companies diminished to 84.6% from 89.2% over the same period. The combined production of new companies, Riyadh, Najran, Madinah and Western, increased sharply in Sep by 56.6% Y/Y to 4.36 mn tones. The total volume of cement sold in the domestic market increased by 19.1% Y/Y in Sep to 27.4 mn tones, while the share of 8 listed companies in local sales shrank from 89.7% to 84.6%. With huge capacity in place and 140.5% increase in the combined clinker inventory, weakening prices weighed on profitability of the listed companies. As a result, their combined net profits declined by 10.4% to SAR2,897 mn in Sep09, compared to SAR 3,234mn in Sep08. To alleviate concern of waning demand, in May09 Saudi authorities lifted the partial ban on cement exports on the condition that a company’s exports volume not exceed 25% of its capacity and that the local price not exceed SAR200 per tone or SAR10 per bag of 50kg. The near-term outlook suggests an improvement in exports volume and greater stability in earnings.

US GDP: Too Good To be True

The global banking crisis had clearly receded from the calamities that ravaged through financial hubs in the US, Europe and Asia to a more stable territory, but the question lingers about the role of banks in economic recovery and job creation going forward. In their capacities as intermediaries, banks do play a critical role by ensuring the flow of credit to businesses and individuals, a classical role that, evidently, had not materialized till date. The recent data point to the fact that the largest banks in the US, especially those that received the USD700 bn TARP funds, have been reluctant to extend credit, with loans granted through these banks falling by a staggering 17% M/M in Aug, the third time during the last six months. Bank of America, Wells Fargo had reported double-digit monthly declines, reflecting the ailing status of corporate credit, and most importantly, the reluctance to take risk on the part of banks. Additionally, consumer credit fell by 6.5% Q/Q in the 2Q09, thus, compounding the dismal outlook for consumer spending and, in turn, corporate earnings. The latest US GDP figure of 3.5% Y/Y increase in 3Q09 for some might be good news, but for the 6 million unemployed and companies that starved-out of credit, it will always be a rosy statistic that does not reflect market dynamics.

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