Mideast Stocks: Abu Dhabi hits record high; other major Gulf bourses ease

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 1%, with International Holding advancing over 5%


Abu Dhabi stocks rose to a record high in early trade on Monday, led by gains in International Holding (IHC) as the company continued a rally following the listing of a subsidiary.

IHC's market capitalisation hit 201.7 billion dirhams ($54.92 billion) last week, making it Abu Dhabi's most valuable listed company, after the market debut of Alpha Dhabi, in which IHC holds a 45% stake. 

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 1%, with International Holding advancing over 5%.

The index's gains were capped by losses at the country's largest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank was down 0.6%.

Dubai's main share index eased 0.1%, weighed down by a 0.4% fall in Emirates NBD Bank and a 1.5% decline in budget airline Air Arabia.

The United Arab Emirates has approved Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, the fifth vaccine to receive such approval from the Gulf Arab state. 

The UAE, with a population of about 9.2 million, has reported the spread of the Beta, Delta and Alpha variants in the country. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index lost 0.3%, pressured by a 1.1% fall in Saudi Telecom Company and a 0.7% drop in petrochemical company Saudi Basic Industries.

OPEC+ ministers were resuming talks on Monday after failing to reach a deal on oil output policy in two days of talks last week, amid a rare public standoff between Gulf allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 

The spat erupted at a sensitive time for the oil market and could delay plans to pump more oil through to the end of the year to cool global oil prices that have soared to 2-1/2 year highs. Brent was trading around $76 on Monday. 

The movement in oil prices is a key catalyst for the Gulf region's financial markets.

The Qatari index fell 0.2%, with Qatar National Bank losing 0.3%.

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru, Editing by Timothy Heritage) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

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