|21 October, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Banks lead Saudi lower, most other Gulf markets dip

Emirates NBD extends losses

A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018.

A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Saudi Arabia's stock market retreated on Monday, snapping a three-day winning streak and hurt by falls in banking shares, while other major Gulf markets mostly ended lower.

The Saudi index closed down 0.3% with Al Rajhi Bank shedding 1% and Riyad Bank dropping 2.5%.

Yanbu National Petrochemicals (Yansab) was the top loser on the index, down 3.6%. The Company's profit more than halved in the third quarter, compared with the same period last year.

Saudi Arabian consumer prices fell in September compared with a year earlier for the ninth month in a row, but at the slowest pace so far this year, government data showed on Monday. 

Separately, Saudi Aramco has put off the planned launch of its initial public offering (IPO) in hopes that pending third-quarter results will bolster investor confidence in the world's largest oil firm, Reuters reported on Friday citing two sources familiar with the matter. 

Aramco was expected to announce plans this week to float a stake of between 1% and 2% on the kingdom's Tadawul market, in what would have been one of the world's largest ever public offerings, worth more than $20 billion. 

The Egyptian blue-chip index dropped 0.4% as Commercial International Bank slipped 0.3% and Egypt Kuwait Holding fell 1.5%.

Dubai's main share index slipped 0.1% extending its losses for the third straight session. Emirates NBD and blue-chip developer Emaar Properties lost 0.8% and 0.5% respectively.

The former has been falling since Thursday after its board approved a capital increase via a rights issue of up to 6.45 billion dirhams ($1.76 billion), lower than the 7.35 billion dirhams the general assembly had decided on in February this year.

The Qatari index eased 0.2% with lender Masraf Al Rayan dropping 1% and Qatar Islamic Bank ending 1.3% lower.

The Abu Dhabi index bucked the trend, closing 0.3% higher with the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank adding 0.3% and Emirates Telecommunications up 0.4%.

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

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