DUBAI, June 21 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market surged more than 3 percent in early trade on Wednesday after Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, architect of the kingdom’s economic reforms, was promoted to the post of crown prince.
After 70 minutes of active trade, the stock index was 3.4 percent higher. National Commercial Bank, the biggest listed lender, which is expected to play a major role in funding some of the non-oil industries which Prince Mohammed aims to develop, was the top gainer and soared 10 percent.
Mining company Ma‘den jumped 8.6 percent; mining is a key sector in Prince Mohammed’s plans to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil exports.
The market was also buoyed by news that index compiler MSCI had, as expected, started to consider whether to upgrade Saudi Arabia to emerging market status. An upgrade would attract tens of billions of dollars of fresh foreign money. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Andrew Heavens)