|28 January, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Banks Propel Saudi, most Gulf markets up

Saudi Arabia's stock market rose on Monday aided by rising bank shares, while Dubai was lifted as most of its real estate stocks rebounded.

An investor monitors an electronic board displaying stock information at the Dubai Financial Market June 13, 2013.

An investor monitors an electronic board displaying stock information at the Dubai Financial Market June 13, 2013.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Saudi Arabia's stock market rose on Monday aided by rising bank shares, while Dubai was lifted as most of its real estate stocks rebounded.

The Saudi Arabia index was up 0.6 percent with Al Rajhi Bank adding 1.2 percent and the country's largest lender, National Commercial Bank (NCB), gaining 0.8 percent. NCB had last week reported a 3.5 percent increase in its fourth-quarter net profit.

Saudi exchange data released late Sunday showed that foreigners were the net-buyers of 958.3 million riyals ($256 million) of stocks last week.

Gulf Union Cooperative Insurance Co dipped 0.1 percent. The firm said its shareholders approved a capital increase to 241.9 million riyals from 150 million riyals as part of its offer to buy Al Ahlia For Cooperative Insurance.

Al Ahlia fell 1.8 percent.

In Dubai, the index rose 0.7 percent. The Emirate's largest listed-developer Emaar Properties was up 1.4 percent and DAMAC Properties added 1.7 percent.

Dubai Islamic Bank gained 1.4 percent. The company said its board will discuss its full-year earnings on Jan. 30.

The Abu Dhabi index gained 0.4 percent, boosted by First Abu Dhabi Bank, United Arab Emirates' biggest lender, which increased 1.1 percent.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) lost 0.4 percent, however. The boards of ADCB and Union National Bank (UNB) are set to discuss a potential three-way bank merger, that includes the unlisted Al Hilal Bank. UNB slipped 1.9 percent.

Qatar's index edged down 0.1 percent as most of its banks fell. Doha Bank slumped 7.3 percent after its full-year profit fell to 830 million riyals from 1.11 billion riyals a year earlier.

($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals) ($1 = 3.7504 riyals)

(Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra) ((shakeel.ahmad.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net;))

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