Mideast Stocks: Most Gulf markets up in line with global stocks

Saudi Arabia extends gains for fourth session

  
A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018.

A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Most stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Tuesday, mirroring global equities, with Saudi Arabia extending gains for a fourth consecutive session.

The MSCI All-Country World Index held broadly steady throughout the European morning, up 0.1% at a fresh record high.

Oil prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf region's financial markets, also hit 13-month highs, helped by rising optimism about a pick up in fuel demand. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index climbed 1%, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 2.9%.

National Commercial Bank (NCB), the country's largest lender, and Samba Financial Group advanced 1.5% and 2.6%, respectively.

Saudi Arabia's Capital Market Authority approved NCB's request to increase its capital to merge with Samba via a securities exchange offer.

The CMA gave the nod for NCB to increase its capital to 44.78 billion riyals ($11.94 billion) from 30 billion riyals, by issuing 1.48 billion ordinary shares.

Dubai's main share index edged up 0.2%, bolstered by a 2.2% rise in its largest lender Emirates NBD and a 1.1% increase in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties.

In Dubai, where a second wave of coronavirus infections threatens to upend a tourism boom, stocks ended four sessions of losses.

The Abu Dhabi the index .ADI closed 0.1% higher, supported by a 0.8% gain in First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) FAB.AD .

FAB, the largest lender in the United Arab Emirates, raised 750 million euros ($907.35 million) through the sale of five-year bonds on Tuesday, its debut euro-denominated issue, a document showed. 

In Qatar, the index, however, closed 0.5% lower, weighed down by a 1.5% fall in Qatar National Bank and a 0.8% decline in sharia-compliant lender Masraf Al Rayan.

Elsewhere, petrochemical firm Industries Qatar eased 0.4%, following a drop in full year net profit. 

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index was down 0.7%, with the country's largest lender Commercial International Bank falling 1.5%.

($1 = 3.7510 riyals)

($1 = 0.8266 euros)

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


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