Saudi Macro and Equity Market

Another Earnings Season Begins

The FY09 financials results announced by 37 of the 131 listed Saudi joint-stock companies revealed a relatively challenging operating environment; however, the equity market took its cue from the better-than-expected performance of banks. Our compilation till date shows that the collective net profit of the 37 firms declined by 15.2% to SAR29.1 bn in FY09 from SAR34.2 bn reported by the same firms in FY08. Only 4 out of 37 companies showed combined losses worth SAR300 mn in FY09, slightly less than 1% of the combined results. The earnings picture, however, worsen if the better-than-expected outcome of the 11 listed-banks were excluded, with the remaining 26 firms registering a sharp slide of 31.3% in profitability to SAR6.83 bn in FY09 from SAR9.94 bn in FY08. Specifically, the net profits of the 11 banks had declined by 8.6% to SAR22.22 bn in FY09 largely on credit related provisioning. However, with reckoning of the strong positive outcome of NCB the Kingdom's banking sector's earnings plunge moderated at -0.3%, a SAR26.3 bn in FY09. The equity market response so far has been positive with Tadawul gaining 3.56% YTD.

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