15 December, 2015

Shares surge as Prince Badr takes SRMG charge

JEDDAH: The rising shares of Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG) on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) were the focus of investors on Monday as a new chairman and a new CEO took charge of the media giant's operations.The shares rose by 9.80 percent to SR47.50 on Monday from the previous close of SR43.26 as the SRMG board held a meeting in Riyadh, headed by board Chairman Prince Badr bin

15 December 2015
JEDDAH: The rising shares of Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG) on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) were the focus of investors on Monday as a new chairman and a new CEO took charge of the media giant's operations.

The shares rose by 9.80 percent to SR47.50 on Monday from the previous close of SR43.26 as the SRMG board held a meeting in Riyadh, headed by board Chairman Prince Badr bin Abdullah.

The SRMG stock also fueled a surge of 9.06 percent in the Media and Publishing sector of the Tadawul All-Share Index on Monday.

Analysts described the increase in the share price as a remarkable development. Asim Bakhtiar, head of research and investment advisory, Saudi Fransi Capital, said the share price rose partly due to the appointment of Prince Badr as the chairman of SRMG.

Saudi Printing and Packaging Co. shares also increased 9.94 percent to SR23.90 on Monday.

Monday's board meeting was attended by CEO of SRMG Azzam Al-Dakhil and other board members, including Ahmed bin Aqail Al-Khatib, Mohaideen Saleh Kamil, Abdulaziz Hamad Al-Fahad, Abdulrahman Hamad Al-Rashid, Adil Marzouq Al-Nasir, Turki Omar Buqshan, Abdullah Husain Al-Amoudi, Majid Abdulrahman Al-Eisa, and Salih Abdulaziz Al-Marzouq.

SRMG was listed in the Saudi stock market (Tadawul) on April 8, 2006.

SRMG is the largest publishing company in the Middle East engaged mainly in providing information products and services by publishing newspapers and magazines across the Middle East and globally.

The company owns more than 15 daily, weekly and monthly newspapers and magazines, including Arab News, Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Eqtisadiah, Urdu News, Malayalam News, Sayidaty, Al Majalla and Arrajol.
Additionally, the company also deals with marketing, advertising and distributing services heavily across the MENA region and Europe.

Last month, two funds owned by NCB Capital bought over 55 percent of SRMG.

The off-market transactions were disclosed after market close on Nov. 1, 2015, just hours after an announcement from Kingdom Holding Co. that it plans to sell its 29.9 percent stake in SRMG for SR837.2 million ($223.3 million).

The new investors do not plan any changes to the overall "strategy of the company and have no plans to buy rest of the outstanding shares," SRMG added in its statement last month.

The funds of NCB Capital, the investment banking arm of Saudi Arabia's largest bank National Commercial Bank, acquired 55.21 percent of SRMG, the company's statement said, split between NCB Capital Fund 13 with 29.9 percent and NCB Capital Fund 4 with 25.3 percent.

© Arab News 2015