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Saudi stocks slump after drone strikes hit Aramco oil plants

Saudi stocks slump after drone strikes hit Aramco oil plants
The Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) started Sunday’s trading down as its key index dropped more than two percent, dragged down by the recent attacks on the kingdom’s key oil facilities.

The Tadawul All Share Index lost around 2.5 percent as it hit 7,629.49 points after the opening bell. The drop was reportedly led by Al Rajhi Bank and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, both of which slid around three percent.

The Arab world’s largest equity market regained some losses later in the day, standing at 7,734.94 points, but still down 1.24 percent, as of 10am GMT.

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Sunday’s decline wipes out gains the market made this year, according to Reuters. The Tadawul All Share Index is down about 18 percent from this year’s high of 9,403 points and down 1.8 percent compared to September 2018.

Other regional markets were not spared from the consequences of the drone attacks. Stocks, including those in Kuwait’s premier index, fell around one percent, while equity markets in United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain lost up to 1.3 percent, according to Bloomberg.

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The blow to the kingdom’s stock market comes as oil major Saudi Aramco is reportedly preparing for local listing, and it could become the world’s biggest initial public offering (IPO). However, the oil company is unlikely to change its mind on the matter, as the attack “will have only a limited impact on interest in Aramco shares,” political risk research and consulting firm Eurasia Group said, as cited by Reuters.

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