Mideast Stocks: Petrochemicals boost Saudi shares, QNB weighs on Qatar

NCB signs binding merger agreement with Samba

  
Saudi men inspect a screen showing stock prices at ANB Bank in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019.

Saudi men inspect a screen showing stock prices at ANB Bank in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Most major stock markets in the Gulf ended mixed on Sunday, with gains in petrochemical shares boosting the Saudi bourse, while Qatar National Bank weighed on the Qatari index.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index rose 1.2%, with petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries advancing 6.4% and Al Rajhi Bank up 1.1%.

The kingdom's biggest lender National Commercial Bank (NCB) said on Sunday it has entered into a binding merger agreement with Samba Financial Group, a smaller bank, to create a combined entity with 837 billion riyals ($223.16 billion) in assets. 

The Saudi Stock Exchange (TADAWUL) had suspended trading on shares of the lenders upon their requests.

Dubai's main share index closed up 0.4%, led by a 2.9% rise in Aramex and a 3.7% jump in budget airliner Air Arabia.

On Thursday, Aramex said it will book provisions of $15.1 million for damage caused to its warehouse facility in Beirut and partial damage to three storage chambers in Casablanca.

The logistics firm, however, said it maintains comprehensive insurance coverage policies which should cover both incidents.

The Abu Dhabi index fell 0.4%, with the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank losing 0.9% and aquaculture firm International Holding down 1%.

In Qatar, the index eased 0.3%, pressured by a 1.7% fall in Qatar National Bank (QNB) after the Gulf's largest lender saw a roughly 18% decline in its third-quarter profit as it booked more loan loss provisions amid global economic uncertainty. 

The lender reported a net profit of 3.1 billion riyals ($851.39 million) in the third quarter compared to 3.8 billion riyals, according to Reuters calculations.

 ($1 = 3.7506 riyals)

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


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