|01 October, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Financials lead Egypt higher as banks weigh on Saudi

Amlak sees biggest surge in over four years

Traders work at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, Egypt April 18, 2016.

Traders work at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, Egypt April 18, 2016.

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

A rebound in financial shares boosted Egypt's blue-chip stock index on Tuesday, a day after it took a breather to snap three straight days of gains, while Saudi Arabia reversed early gains as most of its banks declined.

Egypt's blue-chip index gained 1.7% with its largest bank, Commercial International Bank, leaping 3.1% and El Sewedy Electric  increasing 2.3%.

Egypt's M2 money supply growth accelerated to 11.78% year-on-year in August, Reuters reported on Tuesday citing data from the central bank.

The money supply stood at 3.93 trillion Egyptian pounds ($242.29 billion) as of the end of August from 3.88 trillion pounds at the end of July.

Saudi Arabia's index .TASI dropped 0.5% with most of its banks on the index sliding. Al Rajhi Bank decreased 0.6% and Riyad Bank1010.SE declined 2.1%.

Metlife AIG ANB plunged 4.7% to be the top loser on the index. Walaa Cooperative Insurance said on Sunday it had a binding agreement to acquire Metlife in an all-share deal. 

Saudi Arabia's economy slowed sharply in the second quarter amid oil output cuts by the world's largest crude exporter, government data showed on Monday, raising fears of an economic contraction this year. 

The kingdom last contracted in 2017 before recovering to 2.2% growth last year, helped by strong oil output.

Qatar's index closed 0.7% higher, ending three straight days of losses. Qatar Islamic Bank added 1.5% and Commercial Bank  climbed 2.6%.

Rating agency Moody's said last week the outlook for Qatar's banking sector remained stable as infrastructure spending drives economic growth. 

In Dubai, the indexedged 0.1% down led by a 0.6% fall in Dubai Islamic Bank and a 2.3% slide in Dubai Investments.

Amlak Finance soared 14.8%, however, its biggest rise since June 2015. The sharia-compliant finance company said it has been awarded 780 million dirhams ($212.37 million) in a court ruling against an arbitration being administrated since 2013. 

The Abu Dhabi index also ended 0.1% lower, with Emirates Telecommunications losing 0.7% and Aldar Properties down 1.9%.

The consumer price index (CPI) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) fell 2.04% in August compared to a year earlier, according to government statistics published on Tuesday.

($1 = 3.7511 riyals)

($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals)

($1 = 3.6729 UAE dirham)

($1 = 16.2200 Egyptian pounds)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))

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