|12 December, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Aramco advances for second day; Saudi sharply lower

Nine of eleven Saudi banks slide

Saudi men inspect a screen showing stock prices at ANB Bank in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019.

Saudi men inspect a screen showing stock prices at ANB Bank in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Most major Gulf markets fell on Thursday with Saudi leading the declines as it gave up previous session's gains made as oil giant Aramco commenced trading on the bourse.

State-owned Aramco, however, climbed further to be up 4.6%, the top gainer, adding to a 10% rise on its first day of trade. The stock closed at 36.8 riyals, valuing the firm slightly below $2 trillion.

Total turnover for the whole Riyadh market was 18.4 billion riyals with Aramco contributing 15.8 billion riyals ($4.2 billion) of that with 417.9 million shares exchanging hands, Refinitiv data showed.

Support was largely from Saudi and Gulf investors.

Aramco shares will join the Tadawul index and global benchmarks such as MSCI and FTSE next week, which analysts said should fuel further demand, particularly from "passive" investors who track such indexes.

Saudi's benchmark index slid 1.6% with Al Rajhi Bank1120.SE and National Commercial Bank shedding 1.7% and 2.4%, respectively.

Among other stocks, Saudi Basic Industries tumbled 3.3%, while Saudi Telecom lost 1.4% after JP Morgan cut its target price on the stock to 108 riyals ($28.8) from 111 riyals

The Qatari index declined 0.8% as Industries Qatar was the biggest drag, falling 2.5% while Qatar Navigation closed 2.7% down.

The Abu Dhabi index edged down 0.1% as the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank dropped 0.4% and telecoms firm Etisalat slipped 0.2%.

Egypt's blue-chip index eased 0.5%, driven down by a 3.5% decrease in Juhayna Food and a 0.2% fall in Commercial International Bank .

Dubai's index bucked the trend to gain 0.3%, led by a 13.1% surge in Mashreq Bank and a 0.8% rise in Emirates NBD.

Dubai's economy will grow 3.2% in 2020, accelerating from 2.1% growth in 2019, the Department of Economic Development was cited as saying in a Twitter posting on Wednesday by the Dubai Media Office. 

($1 = 3.7500 riyals)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))

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