Mideast Stocks: Lender FAB buoys Abu Dhabi as most major Gulf markets rise

The Abu Dhabi index advanced 2.3%, with First Abu Dhabi Bank jumping 5.3%, its biggest intraday gain since April last year

  

Most major stock markets in the Gulf traded higher early on Monday, with the Abu Dhabi index leading the gains boosted by its top lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

The Abu Dhabi index advanced 2.3%, with First Abu Dhabi Bank, the United Arab Emirates' largest lender, jumping 5.3%, its biggest intraday gain since April last year.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Finance has announced a 6 billion dirhams ($1.63 billion) supply chain financing initiative to support a variety of sectors, as a key initiative in its commitment to support small and medium enterprises. 

The first phase of this initiative is in partnership with the National Health Insurance Company and First Abu Dhabi Bank, aiming to provide liquidity to SMEs in the healthcare sector.

Dubai's main share index added 0.4%, led by a 0.4% rise in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 0.6% increase in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank.

Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates has lowered the minimum age requirement to receive a COVID-19 vaccination to 16, from 18 previously, the ministry of health said on Sunday. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index rose 0.2%, with oil giant Saudi Aramco rising 0.3% and utility firm Saudi Electricity climbing 1.9%.

In Qatar, the index fell 0.5%, hit by a 1.4% decline in Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB).

QIB reported a net profit of 3.07 billion riyals ($843.15 million) for the fiscal year 2020, up from 3.06 billion riyals a year earlier, but, cut its 2020 dividend to 0.40 riyal per share from 0.525 riyal in 2019.  

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

($1 = 3.6411 Qatar riyals)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

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