|18 November, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Banks elevate Saudi index; other Gulf markets mixed

In Saudi Arabia, the benchmark index gained 0.6% with Al Rajhi Bank increasing 0.8% and National Commercial Bank adding 1.3%

Investors and speculators monitor stock prices on a screen at the FALCOM investment bank in Riyadh June 7, 2015.

Investors and speculators monitor stock prices on a screen at the FALCOM investment bank in Riyadh June 7, 2015.

REUTERS/Faisal AlNasser

Saudi Arabia's stock market rose in early trade on Monday, supported by banking stocks, while real estate stocks led the losses in Dubai.

In Saudi Arabia, the benchmark index gained 0.6% with Al Rajhi Bank increasing 0.8% and National Commercial Bank adding 1.3%.

Among other stocks, Mediterranean And Gulf Cooperative Insurance And Reinsurance leapt 3%, a day after it signed a health insurance contract with Saudi Electricity.

Saudi Industrial Export was up 0.8%, following its board approval on Sunday, to open a branch in Baghdad.

Basic Chemical Industries opened 0.4% up. The chemical firm, in a bourse filing, said that it has completed 35% of work in its Chlorine Production Project at Jubail Industrial City.

The Dubai's index declined 0.5% as Arabtec Holding dived 10%, its biggest fall since May.

On Friday, the Dubai-listed contractor swung to a third-quarter loss of 437.4 million dirhams ($119.09 million), compared with a profit of 67.5 million dirhams a year earlier.

DAMAC Properties slid 3.2%. On Wednesday, the owner of the only Trump-branded golf club in the Middle East, reported a 78% drop in third-quarter profit amid an extended slowdown in Dubai's property sector.

DAMAC shares have fallen by around 45% this year with profits contracting in the first three quarters, according to Refinitiv data.

Earlier in September, Dubai announced the establishment of a real estate planning committee tasked with regulating the real sector.

In Abu Dhabi, the index edged up 0.1%, a day after it saw its biggest fall since August, with First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) increasing 0.5% and Gulf Cement jumping 6.3%.

In Qatar, the index traded flat with telecoms and energy firms moving sideways. Ooredoo lost 1%, while Qatar Gas Transport was up 0.4%. ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

(Reporting by Shamsuddin Mohd in Bengaluru; Editing by Alex Richardson) ((shamsuddin.mohd@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497252;))

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