|23 April, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Earnings aid Saudi, real estate hurts Egypt

Riyad Bank hits 13-year high on Q1 earnings

An investor monitors a screen displaying stock information at the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia January 18, 2016. Image used for illustrative purpose

An investor monitors a screen displaying stock information at the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia January 18, 2016. Image used for illustrative purpose

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Saudi Arabia's stock market rose on Tuesday, lifted by a slew of corporate announcements, while Egypt's blue-chip index was pulled down by its real estate shares.

Saudi Arabia's index added 0.4 percent, with Riyad Bank climbing 3.6 percent to reach its highest since May 2006. The lender posted a 44.7 percent increase in first quarter net profit.

Saudi British Bank rose 1.3 percent after the Capital Market Authority approved a request to increase its capital to 20.55 billion riyals ($5.48 billion) from 15 billion riyals.

The lender will issue 554.8 million shares to Alawwal Bank as part of a merger deal. Alawwal Bank was up 2.3 percent. Last month, the companies received regulatory approval to proceed with a merger.

Saudi Arabia Fertilizers increased 3.2 percent after the firm posted higher first quarter profit, helped by lower costs.

On Monday, the Saudi exchange announced the listing of Al Moammar Information Systems from Wednesday. The exchange is offering 4.8 million shares of the company at a price of 45 riyals per share.

The Egyptian index dropped 1.1 percent, dragged down by real estate stocks, while stock exchange data showed that foreigners were net sellers of stocks during the session.

Egypt Kuwait Holding slipped 2.5 percent as the stock traded ex-dividend and Oriental Weavers Carpet  declined a further 7 percent after going ex-dividend on Monday.

Pioneers Holding Co fell 2 percent. The firm and its related groups increased their stake in Electro Cable Egypt to around 68.1 percent from 48.5 percent.

Dubai's main index closed 0.4 percent lower, led by a 2.2 percent drop in its largest listed developer Emaar Properties and a 1.3 percent fall in Emirates NBD Bank.

But Dubai Islamic Bank was up 1.2 percent after posting a rise in its first quarter net profit. The sharia-compliant lender also received approval from its board to explore the possible acquisition of unlisted Noor Bank.

The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.3 percent, with First Abu Dhabi Bank rising 0.7 percent.

The lender has risen in the last few sessions after it obtained regulatory approval to increase its foreign ownership limit to 40 percent from 25 percent.

Qatar's blue-chip index slid 0.2 percent with market heavyweight Industries Qatar falling 3.1 percent after the firm's first quarter net profit almost halved, pressured by weak demand for its products and constraints on pricing. 

($1 = 3.7500 riyals)

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

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