Major Gulf stock markets were mixed early on Sunday in the last week of trading for the year.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index has gained 4% this year, Abu Dhabi and Qatar are up 1%, while Dubai is down 8.8%. Gains in recent weeks have been fuelled by optimism over COVID-19 vaccines.
On Sunday, the Saudi index opened up 0.2% with Samba Financial Group and National Commercial Bank (NCB) up 1.5% and 0.7%, respectively.
The lenders said they are in the process of obtaining regulatory approvals to complete a merger. In October, they signed a binding agreement to create a combined entity with 837 billion riyals ($223 billion) in assets.
Yanbu National Petrochemicals gained 0.7% after its board proposed a 1.25 riyals per share dividend for the second half of the year.
Dubai's index was down 0.2%, after closing higher in the last three sessions. Lenders Emirates NBD and Dubai Islamic Bank were down 0.9% and 0.6%, respectively, while real estate developer Emaar Properties was up 0.6%.
In Abu Dhabi, the index was down 0.2% as Emirates Telecommunications Group fell 1%. International Holdings rose 0.7%. The company recently listed three subsidiaries on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange’s (ADX) secondary market.
The Qatari index was flat as Qatar Fuel declined 1.3% and Commercial Bank gained 1.1%.
(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))