Mideast Stocks: Egyptian shares fall amid fears of intervention in Libya

Emirates NBD advances before H1 results

A trader works at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo. Image for illustrative purposes.

A trader works at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo. Image for illustrative purposes.

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Shares fell in Egypt on Sunday after fears of Egyptian intervention in Libya's civil war increased, and Gulf stocks were mixed, with Kuwait underperforming following a negative outlook by S&P Global Ratings.

President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said on Thursday Egypt would not stand idle in the face of any direct threat to Egyptian and Libyan security, after lawmakers allied to commander Khalifa Haftar urged Cairo to intervene militarily in Libya. 

Egypt's blue-chip index fell 1.5% -- the fifth successive day it has fallen. The country's largest lender, Commercial International Bank Egypt, declined 2.3%, and tobacco firm Eastern Company lost 1.7%.

The Kuwaiti index retreated 1.2%, pressured mostly by financial stocks. National Bank Of Kuwait shed 1.8% and Kuwait Finance House fell 0.9%.

S&P Global Ratings revised Kuwait's outlook on Friday to "negative" from "stable", saying it expected the country's main liquidity buffer, the General Reserve Fund, to be insufficient to cover the central government's deficit. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index slipped about 0.1%, weighed down by Saudi Aramco falling 0.8%.

After the market closed, Aramco said bonus shares would be transferred into the portfolio accounts of eligible Saudi retail investors on July 25.

It had said in its initial public offering prospectus that Saudi retail bonus investors who held offer shares without interruption until the end of trading on June 7, 2020 would be entitled to one bonus share for every 10 allocated offer shares, up to a maximum of 100 bonus shares.

Dubai's main share index gained 0.4%>. The lender Emirates NBD rose 2.9% before its first-half earning release.

The Abu Dhai index eased 0.4%, driven down by a 1.5% drop in First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 0.8% drop in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank .

In Qatar, the index gained 0.1%. Qatar Islamic Bank, which reported on Wednesday a marginal rise in first-half net profit, rose 1.9%, while Doha Bank increased 3.7%.

(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru, Editing by Timothy Heritage) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))

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