Mideast Stocks: Most Gulf bourses fall in early trade

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index eased 0.2%


Most stock markets in the Gulf region fell in early trade on Thursday, with Abu Dhabi set for its first weekly loss in eight, in line with subdued Asian shares.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index led the declines in Asia, dropping to its lowest so far this year, while Chinese shares sank over fears that the liquidity crisis at China's Evergrande Group could affect the broader economy. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index eased 0.2%, with Saudi Telecom Company dropping 0.9% and Saudi National Bank, the country's largest lender, was dwon 0.7%.

The kingdom's consumer price index rose 0.3% in August from a year earlier and was 0.1% higher month on month, government data showed on Wednesday. 

Saudi Telecom's Arabian Internet and Communications Services Co is set to raise 3.6 billion riyals ($959.90 million) in its initial public offering (IPO) after pricing the deal at the top of an indicative range, the company said. 

The IPO is among a spate of deals hitting the Saudi Arabian exchange this year, including Acwa Power's more than $1 billion deal and Saudi Tadawul Group's IPO likely in the fourth quarter.

In Abu Dhabi, the index lost 0.3% to post its first weekly loss in eight, with telecoms firm Etisalat declining 1.2%.

The UK Office for Investment and the United Arab Emirate's (UAE) Mubadala Investment Company are expected to sign an expansion of the Sovereign Investment Partnership (SIP) on Thursday, British PM Boris Johnson's press office said. 

Dubai's main share index fell 0.2%, hit by a 0.4% fall in Emirates NBD Bank and a 1.1% decrease in Dubai Invesments.

Expo 2020 Dubai said on Wednesday that entry to the world fair for visitors over 18 years old would be restricted to those who had been vaccinated against COVID-19 or had tested negative in the previous 72 hours. 

The Qatari benchmark traded flat.

($1 = 3.7504 riyals)

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

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