Most Middle Eastern markets ended higher on Wednesday, with Bahrain outperforming the region, while bank stocks weighed on the Saudi index.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index slipped 0.1% and snapped a four-session winning streak, weighed by Al Rajhi Bank's 0.4% fall and Riyad Bank's 1.3% tumble.
Saudi Arabia's largest telecoms operator Saudi Telecom Company (STC) gained 1% as STC has asked banks to pitch for roles in a potential public offering of its products and services development arm, Reuters reported, citing sources.
Saudi Chemical Company surged 9.9%, extending gains from the previous session, when the chemicals firm signed a memorandum of understanding with the Russian Direct Investment Fund to provide a coronavirus vaccine in the kingdom.
Dubai's main share index rose 0.4%, supported by a 2.1% gain in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 3.4% leap in Emaar Malls .
The Abu Dhabi index slipped 0.1%, hurt by the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank 0.4% fall and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank a 0.7% decrease.
In Qatar, the index added 0.5%, with Qatar Islamic Bank rising 1.1% and Qatar National Bank (QNB) , the Gulf's largest lender, gaining 0.8%.
On Tuesday, Qatar saw its first green bond issue when Qatar National Bank sold $600 million of the notes, making it only the second commercial bank in the Gulf to venture into the green market.
Bahrain, which signed agreements on Tuesday along with the United Arab Emirates to establish formal ties with Israel, the index advanced 1.2%, outperforming regional peers.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index closed up 0.6%, with top lender Commercial International Bank gaining 1%.
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))