Mideast Stocks: Egyptian shares gain, Gulf stocks mixed

DXB extends losses

A trader watches his monitor at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo April 1, 2014.

A trader watches his monitor at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo April 1, 2014.

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Egyptian shares bounced back on Monday after the central bank kept rates unchanged, citing rising inflation and slowing economic growth due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Egypt's blue-chip index rose 0.7%, with most of its constituents ending higher. Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals jumped 6.6% and EFG Hermes increased 1.4%.

Saudi Arabia's index fell 0.3% as Al Rajhi Bank dropped 0.7% and Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) closed down 0.8%, having risen as much as 0.6% during the day.

SABIC, which owns 31.5% of Clariant, on Monday re-ignited a battle over the Swiss chemicals maker's future by seeking a 12-year board member term limit that would force Chairman Hariolf Kottmann's ouster. 

Among the gainers, Halwani Brothers Company surged 9.9% to a record high of 88.9 riyals after the food producer and distributor proposed raising capital through a bonus share issue and distributing a 1.5 riyal-per-share cash dividend for 2020. 

The Dubai index closed almost flat. Damac Propeties dropped 2.9%, while Emirates NBD Bank  gained 0.5%.

DXB Entertainments was the biggest loser in percentage term, falling 4% to 0.095 dirham in its fifth consecutive day of losses.

DXB has lost over a fifth of its value since Meraas, which owns more than half of the loss-making theme park group, intended to make a conditional offer to acquire the remaining shares and take it private. 

In Abu Dhabi, the index was up 0.2% with First Abu Dhabi Bank gaining 0.3% and Emirates Telecommunications Group adding 0.1%.

The Qatari index closed nearly 0.1% down. Commercial Bank gained 0.9%, while Qatar International Islamic Bank shed 0.8%.

Telecoms company Ooredoo, which rose in last three sessions, ended 0.3% down.

After the market closed, Ooredoo said the company and CK Hutchison Holdings are exploring a deal to merge their Indonesian units.

(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru, editing by Louise Heavens) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))

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