Mideast Stocks: Banks, petrochemicals weigh on Saudi; Agility boosts Kuwait

Saudi Electricity slips on earnings

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Salem Al-Mieh (L) and Jassem Al-Kandari work the phones at a brokerage firm in the Kuwait stock exchangeDecember 1, 2002 in Kuwait City, Kuwait. With the possibilities of war in Iraq looming investors are unsure what that will do to the market.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Salem Al-Mieh (L) and Jassem Al-Kandari work the phones at a brokerage firm in the Kuwait stock exchangeDecember 1, 2002 in Kuwait City, Kuwait. With the possibilities of war in Iraq looming investors are unsure what that will do to the market.

Getty Images/Joe Raedle

Saudi Arabian stocks closed lower on Wednesday, hit by losses in banking and petrochemical stocks, while the Kuwaiti index outperformed the Gulf region.

Other major Gulf markets were largely muted.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index fell 0.7%, with Al Rajhi Bank losing 0.7% and chemical maker Saudi Basic Industries retreating 1.2%.

Saudi Electricity declined 3.6% after the company said net loss attributable to common shares for first quarter amounted to 200 million riyals ($53.33 million). Saudi Telecom shed 1.1% as it traded ex-dividend. 

Kuwait's premier index rose 1.1% buoyed by shares of Agility Public Warehousing Company, which soared 11.6%, in its third straight day of gains.

Agility has reaped more than 40% since Tuesday last week, when it agreed to sell its logistics unit to DSV Panalpina in an all-share deal worth $4.1 billion. 

Dubai's index was up 0.2%, with Dubai Islamic Bank and courier firm Aramex adding 0.9% and 1.5%, respectively.

Dubai's tourism chief on Tuesday said he was very optimistic that business and leisure travellers would return this year, although the pandemic made it difficult to predict exactly how many. 

Dubai, a trade and tourism hub which has kept its borders open since reopening last July, saw 1.26 million visitors in the first quarter, while last year the number of visitors slumped 67% to 5.5 million.

The Abu Dhabi index closed flat. Emirates Telecommunications Group shed 0.5%, while Aldar Properties  gained 0.6%.

Waha Capital jumped 4.3% after reporting a first-quarter profit of 111 million dirhams ($30.22 million), compared with a loss of 294 million dirhams a year earlier. 

Qatar's index was flat. Industries Qatar dropped 0.8% and Qatar Navigation climbed 1.7%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index closed 0.5% higher. The country's largest lender Commercial International Bank Egypt increased 2.1%.

($1 = 3.7502 riyals)

(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))


More From Equities