|26 November, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Gulf stocks slide as MSCI rebalancing prompts passive fund outflows

Gulf stock markets fell on Tuesday

An investor looks at stock information in front of an electronic display board at the Dubai International Financial Market March 21, 2010.

An investor looks at stock information in front of an electronic display board at the Dubai International Financial Market March 21, 2010.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Gulf stock markets fell on Tuesday, with the Saudi index leading the losses after MSCI rebalancing that triggered passive fund outflows, while Egyptian stocks also came under pressure.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index slid 1.7%, dragged down by a 3.3% drop in Al Rajhi Bank and a 4% plunge in National Commercial Bank.

Among other stocks, Saudi Basic Industries and Savola Group eased 3% and 5.6% respectively.

Global index provider MSCI on Tuesday implemented the final step of the weight increase of mainland Chinese stocks, or A shares, in its widely followed emerging markets benchmark.

Rebalancing of MSCI resulted in outflows by passive funds, causing some pressure on the market, so some rebound could come into play, said Vrajesh Bhandari senior portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital

"In Saudi Arabia, post the Aramco IPO, excess liquidity will return to the broader market," Bhandari added.

The Qatari index slid 1.2% as declining stocks outnumbered the gainers, with Qatar Fuel down 4.5% and Qatar National Bank losing 1.9%.

Separately, Turkish and Qatari central banks on Monday increased the overall limit of a swap agreement between them to $5 billion equivalent of lira and riyals, from $3 billion previously. 

The deal aims to facilitate bilateral trade in respective local currencies and support the countries' financial stability.

In Dubai, the index ended flat as gains in industrials were offset by losses in property stocks.

Budget airline Air Arabia jumped 4.9% to become the top gainer while logistics company Aramex closed 2.5% up.

In real estate, Emaar Properties lost 1.4% while Deyaar Development retreated by 2%.

However, Dubai Islamic Bank gave up early gains to close with a 0.4% decline. The lender called a shareholder meeting for Dec. 17 to approve the acquisition of Noor Bank.

The Abu Dhabi index dropped 0.9% as the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD shed 0.8% and telecoms group Etisalat fell 1.7%.

Egypt's blue-chip index dipped 1.4%, with 27 of its 30 stocks declining. Egypt Kuwait Holding shed 3.5% and Commercial International Bank lost 0.5%.

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

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