Mideast Stocks: Most Gulf bourses gain in early trade; Saudi falls

Dubai's main share index gained 0.6%


Most major stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Thursday, with Dubai leading the way on the back of gains in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties, while Saudi Arabia fell.

Dubai's main share index gained 0.6%, hitting its highest since mid-April 2018, led by a 2.3% rise in Emaar.

The Dubai Financial Market surged more than 14%, extending gains fuelled by the emirate's plans to launch a 2 billion dirham ($545 million) market-maker fund and initial public offerings.

The Dubai government plans a stock market flotation of Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (Dewa), it said on Tuesday, among 10 state-backed companies to be listed as part of plans to boost activity on the local bourse.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index fell 0.2%, hit by a 0.7% dip in Al Rajhi Bank and a 0.8% drop in Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's Capital Markets Authority said on Wednesday it had approved an initial public offering of Saudi Tadawul Group, the kingdom's stock exchange. 

The market regulator said it approved the application for an offering of 36 million shares, which represents 30% of Tadawul's share capital.

In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.4%, with First Abu Dhabi Bank, the country's largest lender, and telecom giant Etisalat both rising 0.8%.

Abu Dhabi Media Office announced the commencement of trading in single equity futures of Etisalat and First Abu Dhabi Bank including others. 

The Qatari index rose 0.3%, with sharia-compliant lender Masraf Al Rayan up 1.2%, on course to extend gains to a third session.

Al Khaliji Commercial Bank said in a bourse filing on Tuesday that it had received final approval from Qatar Central Bank on its merger with Masraf Al Rayan.

Al khaliji, which is not part of the index, was flat.

($1 = 3.6726 UAE dirham)

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

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