Mideast Stocks: Most Gulf bourses fall as financial shares drag; Saudi up

Abu Dhabi returns to bond market, raises $5bln

A Saudi trader monitors stocks at the Saudi stock market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 8, 2020.

A Saudi trader monitors stocks at the Saudi stock market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 8, 2020.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Most major stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Wednesday, pressured by losses in financial shares, although the Saudi index bucked the trend to close higher.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index edged up 0.2%, helped by a 2.2% rise in Banque Saudi Fransi and a 4.1% jump in Sahara International Petrochemical Company.

Elsewhere, Saudi British Bank (SABB) reversed earlier losses to close up 1.6%.

SABB on Tuesday reported a net loss of 6.87 billion riyals ($1.83 billion) in the quarter ended June 30, compared with a loss of 196 million riyals a year earlier. 

Dubai's main share index fell 0.7%, with sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank losing 1.9% and blue-chip developer Emaar Properties down 1.7%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index dropped 0.6%, dragged down by a 1.2% fall in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and 3.7% slide in Aldar Properties.

Abu Dhabi raised $5 billion through a three-tranche bond offering on Tuesday, the oil-rich Gulf emirate's third foray into the international debt markets this year to prop up its finances following a fall in crude prices. 

In Qatar, the index eased 0.1%, hurt by a 0.9% fall in petrochemical firm Industries Qatar and a 0.5% drop in Commercial Bank .

Masraf Al Rayan, however, gained 1%. The Islamic lender has tightened the price guidance for its five-year U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk and received more than $3.1 billion in orders, a document showed on Wednesday. 

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index slipped 0.1%, with investment bank EFG Hermes losing 3% and Talaat Mostafa Holding retreated 2.3%.

($1 = 3.7503 riyals)

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

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