Trading Resumes in Biggest Mideast Bourse After Two-Hour Halt

Equities trading resumed in Saudi Arabia after a technical glitch shuttered the Middle East’s biggest stock exchange for two hours.

“The technical issue has been resolved and trading services are now functioning normally,” the exchange said. The bourse is home to over 200 listed securities with a total market capitalization of about $2.6 trillion, including the world’s biggest energy company Saudi Aramco.

An average of 312 million shares were traded each day over the past year on the index, with an average daily value value of $3 billion. The benchmark Tadawul All Share Index closed 0.6% higher on Wednesday.

The outage comes as the exchange pushes ahead with plans for an initial public offering. The glitch won’t significantly impact the listing if it’s a one-time event, Al Dhabi Capital Chief Strategy Officer Mohammed Ali Yasin said in an email. “If it happens again, then it will raise questions on the reasons behind it, and may affect the upcoming IPO, probably on the valuation front,” he said.

Trading Resumes in Biggest Mideast Bourse After Two-Hour Halt

Trading in several exchanges around the world has been disrupted recently. Euronext NV, the Mexican Bourse and the Tokyo Stock Exchange were all hit by outages last year, while New Zealand’s stock exchange struggled to restore services after cyber attacks shuttered the market for three straight days.

Before that, Deutsche Boerse AG’s electronic trading system was down for hours after a technical glitch affected trading in Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria, Croatia and Slovenia.

“Technical glitches can happen anywhere, anytime. It is out of the exchange’s control,” said Joice Mathew, head of equity research at United Securities in Muscat. “This is the first time that we see such an issue from Tadawul in the recent past. I want to see it as a one off event,” he said.

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