|05 February, 2020

Mideast Stocks: Banks lift Saudi, other Gulf markets mixed

Saudi Arabian's benchmark index was up 0.4%, with Al Rajhi Bank gaining 0.8% while Bank Albilad jumped 2.2%

Saudi Arabian stocks rose in early trade on Wednesday, supported by gains for banks amid rising oil prices, while other major Gulf markets were mixed.

Oil prices climbed more than 1% on news that OPEC and its allies are considering further output cut to counter any potential impact on oil demand from the coronavirus outbreak in China. 

Saudi Arabian's benchmark index was up 0.4%, with Al Rajhi Bank gaining 0.8% while Bank Albilad jumped 2.2% after reporting a 103% leap in annual profit to 1.24 billion riyals ($330.5 million). 

Elsewhere, Shopping mall operator Arabian Centres dropped 3.5% after third-quarter profit declined by almost 60% to 110.6 million riyals.

In Qatar the index was up 0.3% as Qatar International Islamic Bank gained 1.5% and Industries Qatar added 0.6%.

The Abu Dhabi index traded flat. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank was up 0.7%, having said on Tuesday that it would close its operations in Jersey. 

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company surged by 10.9%, extending gains for a third day after news that Abu Dhabi Power Corporation was considering taking control of the energy company in an asset swap deal.

Dubai's index slipped 0.4% as blue-chip developer Emaar Properties shed 1.2%.

On Tuesday Reuters reported that National Central Cooling Co (Tabreed) is in advanced talks to buy Emaar Properties' district cooling business. Tabreed was up 3%. ($1 = 3.7516 riyals)

(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru Editing by David Goodman ) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))

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