DUBAI Dec 25 Gulf stock markets mostly look set
to consolidate on Sunday with trade thinned by the absence of
foreign investors for Christmas holidays, but Saudi Arabia's
bourse - particularly petrochemical stocks - may rise after the
release of the 2017 state budget.
Riyadh said late on Thursday that it had succeeded in
cutting a huge budget deficit caused by low oil prices and would
increase government spending in 2017 to support flagging
It pledged to increase infrastructure spending, said it had
settled unpaid bills to the private sector and promised to
settle future bills within 60 days of receiving them - good news
for the Saudi construction sector.
Although domestic fuel and electricity prices will rise by
unspecified margins later this year, the government said it
would not raise gas feedstock prices before 2019, which was
positive for the petrochemical industry.
The government did not say how much domestic energy prices
would rise so it is difficult to calculate the impact on Saudi
companies, but Saudi Electricty could be bought on
hopes a power tariff rise will boost its bottom line.
Zain Saudi may attract interest after saying on
Thursday it was in talks to sell its mobile transmitter towers
to a consortium of TASC SAL and ACWA Holding (IPO-ACWA.SE).
(Reporting by Andrew Torchia)