Mideast Stocks: Most major Gulf bourses in red; Egypt outperforms

Most major Gulf shares ended lower on Monday, hit by losses in the banking sector

  
A Saudi trader monitors stocks at the Saudi Bank in Riyadh November 22, 2008. Image used for illustrative purpose.

A Saudi trader monitors stocks at the Saudi Bank in Riyadh November 22, 2008. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed

Most major Gulf shares ended lower on Monday, hit by losses in the banking sector, while Egyptian shares outperformed the region with broad based gains.

Dubai's main share index eased 0.1%, hit by a 0.4% fall in Emirates NBD and a 2.2% slide in budget airliner Air Arabia.

The Dubai Airshow, this year's biggest aerospace trade show and a spectacle for business deals worth billions of dollars, will be held under capacity restrictions in November due to the coronavirus pandemic, its organiser said. 

In Abu Dhabi, the index dropped 0.5%, weighed down by a 1.2% fall in the largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 1% decline in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

Investment Corp of Dubai was the undisclosed investor who last week sold $300 million of shares in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the third-largest lender in the United Arab Emirates, Reuters reported, citing two sources close to the deal.

The Qatari benchmark closed 0.2% lower, with Qatar Islamic Bank losing 0.4%.

The Gulf Arab state, which is hosting next year's soccer World Cup, will only allow people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend next year's tournament and is in talks to secure one million doses in case global immunisation efforts lag, the prime minister said. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index, however, bucked the trend to conclude 0.6% higher. Al Rajhi Bank leapt 2.4%, while Saudi National Bank firmed 1.3%.

The kingdom's ministry of industry will offer industrial licences that last five years instead of three to ensure the sustainability of the sector, Saudi state news agency (SPA) reported on Sunday. 

Outisde the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index advanced 2.7%, ending four sessions of gains, as most of the stocks on the index were in positive territory including its top lender Commercial International Bank.

Egypt's central bank kept its key interest rates unchanged during its monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting on Thursday, the bank said in a statement.

Egypt has some of the highest real interest rates in the world, which has helped to attract investment in treasuries but discouraged corporate borrowing.

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


More From Equities