|03 January, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Most Gulf markets recover on financials, Qatar leads

Saudi's Gulf Union, Al-Ahlia rise on acquisition progress

Image used for illustrative purpose. A broker monitors stock prices on a screen at the Saudi Investment Bank in Riyadh September 5, 2013.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A broker monitors stock prices on a screen at the Saudi Investment Bank in Riyadh September 5, 2013.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Major Gulf markets staged a recovery on Thursday after opening on a weak note on global market woes, with renewed interest in financial stocks helping overcome volatility in global markets.

The Qatari index rose 0.7 percent, with 18 of its 20 stocks advancing. The Middle East's second largest petrochemical firm Industries Qatar added 1.8 percent while Qatar Islamic Bank increased 0.9 percent.

But Mesaieed Petrochemical plunged by 7.3 percent, having jumped by its 10 percent daily limit in the previous session on news that major shareholder Qatar Petroleum had finished distributing a tranche of free incentive shares to investors, potentially improving liquidity in the stock.

Saudi Arabia's index was up 0.5 percent, with Al Rajhi Bank gaining 0.8 percent and Saudi Basic Industries 2010.SE up 1 percent.

Tabuk Cement rose 2.2 percent after saying it had signed a memorandum of understanding to export 600,000 tonnes of clinkers and 150,000 tonnes of cement to war-torn Yemen.

Gulf Union Cooperative Insurance added 2.5 percent after publishing an offer document for a proposed acquisition of Al-Ahlia Insurance Co in a share-swap deal. Al-Ahlia jumped 7.7 percent in active trade.

The Egyptian blue-chip index rose 0.5 percent, gaining for a third straight session, aided by its bank shares.

Commercial International Bank advanced 1.1 percent and tobacco maker Eastern Co  climbed 2.1 percent.

The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.7 percent, with First Abu Dhabi Bank gaining 0.7 percent and Dana Gas adding 3.3 percent. Dana Gas said earlier this week that it had received $324 million of receivables in 2018, including $199 million from Egypt.

The Dubai index, one of the world's worst-performing stock markets last year, inched up 0.2 percent in late buying. Dubai Investments added 3.2 percent and DAMAC Properties gained 2 percent.

($1 = 17.9100 Egyptian pounds) SAUDI ARABIA The index was up 0.5 pct at 7,830 points DUBAI The index added 0.2 pct to 2,526 points QATAR The index gained 0.7 pct to 10,350 points ABU DHABI The index rose 0.7 pct to 4,898 points EGYPT The index rose 0.5 pct to 13,265 points KUWAIT The index was up 0.7 pct at 5,341 points OMAN The index fell 0.6 pct to 4,276 points BAHRAIN The index edged down 0.3 pct to 1,326 points.

(Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad and Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Mark Heinrich) ((shakeel.ahmad.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net;))

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