The Kingdom’s banks have posted robust second-quarter earnings and analysts see upside for their stocks given attractive valuations, whereas petrochemical stocks will be vulnerable following a sharp drop in oil prices.
Saudi banks are benefiting from the government's expansionary fiscal policy, ample liquidity and improving corporate loan demand.
"Even though most banks reported expected results, it’s quite positive," Mahmoud Akbar, analyst at Riyadh-based NCB Capital, told Reuters.
"The numbers didn't come at the cost of provisioning. Net income is high because of economic activity happening in the Kingdom and the liquidity is good."
The Saudi banking stocks index has declined for six straight sessions, having recording a 15.2 percent loss for the second quarter, while the Kingdom's bourse was down 14.3 percent in the quarter, and some analysts see that as an opportunity to buy.
"Valuations look very attractive, particularly for the bigger banks. Generally, we see an upside potential of 17 to 20 percent at least, on current valuations. They have underperformed and unjustifiably so," Akbar added.
Meanwhile, petrochemical stocks have steadily declined from a 43-month peak reached in early April, tracking losses in oil prices.
Earnings for companies in the sector are due in the coming week.
The banks and financial services index ended 0.4 percent lower yesterday. The petrochemical industries index was down 0.75pc.
The Tadawul All Share Index (TASi) closed 0.8pc yesterday.
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