Mideast Stocks: Banks lead most Gulf markets higher, Kuwait keeps rallying

Bank of Sharjah slips further on weak Q1 results

Kuwaiti stock trader Ali Fares watches a computer screen at the Kuwait Stock Exchange floor

Kuwaiti stock trader Ali Fares watches a computer screen at the Kuwait Stock Exchange floor

REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee

Major Gulf markets closed higher on Tuesday, mostly riding on banks after Egypt's EFG Hermes forecast a higher second-quarter profit for the Middle East's financial sector, while Kuwait continued to rise for a ninth straight session.

EFG Hermes investment bank predicted over 10% year-on-year growth in second quarter profit for the region's financial sector, with United Arab Emirates seeing a 18.7% jump and Egypt expecting a 19.5% surge. 

The Saudi index added 0.3% with National Commercial Bank rising 1.3% and Riyad Bank 0.7% higher.

United Electronics rose 1.7% after the firm posted a higher second-quarter profit and proposed a bigger first-half dividend. 

Kuwait's index rose 1.4% with National Bank of Kuwait and Boubyan Bank increasing 0.7% and 1.2% respectively. The duo posted higher second-quarter profits after market closed.

The index has risen for the ninth straight session after MSCI said it would move Kuwaiti equities to its main emerging market index in 2020. 

Kuwait has outperformed its Gulf peers in anticipation of the MSCI move, gaining over 27% year-to-date.

Middle Eastern funds plan to continue increasing investments in Kuwait over the next three months, a Reuters poll found earlier this week. 

In Qatar, the index increased 0.6% with Qatar Gas Transport gaining 2.7%, while lender Masraf Al Rayan was up 0.8%.

Egypt's blue-chip index gained 0.4% with Commercial International Bank increasing 0.7% after the firm posted second-quarter profit of 2.71 billion Egyptian pounds ($164 million), up from 2.40 billion year ago. 

The Abu Dhabi index gained 0.2% with First Abu Dhabi Bank, the country's largest lender, closing 0.4% higher and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) up 1.1%.

But Bank Of Sharjah plunged a further 5.2%, having closed 3.9% lower in the previous session after reporting a steep fall in its first-quarter profit.

The Dubai index traded flat with Emaar Properties, its largest listed developer, adding 0.9%.

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

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