Mideast Stocks: Abu Dhabi leads most Gulf markets higher

Most Gulf markets rose on Monday, with Abu Dhabi leading the gains

  
Investors speak as they monitor stocks at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange

Investors speak as they monitor stocks at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange

REUTERS/Stringer .

Most Gulf markets rose on Monday, with Abu Dhabi leading the gains, buoyed by signs of economic recovery and additional positive data about a COVID-19 vaccine.

Pharma company Moderna said on Monday its experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing the virus, which has ravaged economies across the globe.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index rose 0.3%, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 1% and Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services advancing 2.6%.

However, the index's gains were capped by losses at Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), which declined 4.6%.

The utility firm said on Monday it has signed an agreement with the government to convert state liabilities worth 167.92 billion riyals ($45 billion) into a subordinated perpetual financial instrument to strengthen its balance sheet. 

This conversion is considered non-dilutive and will therefore have no impact on SEC's existing shareholders’ stakes.

Dubai's main share index closed 1.3% higher, led by a 3.8% jump in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 1.5% increase in Emirates NBD Bank.

The Abu Dhabi index advanced 1.6%, buoyed by a 3.4% leap in the United Arab Emirates' largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 0.5% rise in Emirates Telecommunications .

The United Arab Emirates will extend its "golden" visa system - which grants 10-year residency in the Gulf state - to certain professionals, specialised degree-holders and others, the UAE's vice president said on Sunday.

In Qatar, the index firmed 0.2%, supported by a 4.2% gain in Qatar Gas Transport.

Among Gainers, Qatar National Bank finished the session 0.5% higher. On Monday, the Gulf's biggest lender closed the syndication for its dual-tranche $3.5 billion senior unsecured term loan.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index increased 0.4%, as most of the stocks were in positive territory including Talaat Mostafa Group Holding jumping 5.2%.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

More From Equities