Advertisement
|20 March, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Petrochemicals companies hold back Saudi as rival markets firm

Commercial Bank of Dubai rises on Arqaam upgrade

An investor gestures as he monitors a screen displaying stock information in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 6, 2017.

An investor gestures as he monitors a screen displaying stock information in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 6, 2017.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Saudi Arabia's stock market dropped on Wednesday as petrochemical companies slid amid falling oil prices while rival markets were mostly lifted by financial stocks.

The Saudi index eased 0.2 percent from the multi-year closing high hit after it entered FTSE Russell's emerging-market index on Monday.

The Middle East's largest petrochemicals producer Saudi Basic Industries 2010.SE slipped 0.3 percent and Riyad Bank shed 1.5 percent as the lender traded ex-dividend.

Advertisement

Food products company Savola Group fell 2.1 percent after it swung to a full-year net loss, with the company citing an exceptional expense of 100.7 million riyals ($26.9 million) in 2018.

Egypt's blue-chip index rose 0.5 percent after suffering this year's biggest one-day loss in the previous session.

Heavyweight lender Commercial International Bank, which has the biggest weighting on the index, rose 1.8 percent and Qalaa Holdings added 1.7 percent.

The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.4 percent, with First Abu Dhabi Bank and Emirates Telecommunications each gaining 0.8 percent.

Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics, however, plunged 9.8 percent to its biggest intra-day loss in three years as it went ex-dividend.

The Qatari index was up 0.2 percent as six of its seven banks rose, with the Middle East's biggest, Qatar National Bank, gaining 1.1 percent.

Qatar Islamic Bank added 1.3 percent after completed issuance of a $750 million sukuk.

In Dubai, the index edged up 0.1 percent. Emirates Integrated Telecommunications and Commercial Bank of Dubai jumped by 2.9 percent 2.7 percent repectively. Arqaam Capital upgraded the bank's stock to a "buy", forecasting 8 percent growth in earnings per share every year between 2018 and 2023.

The Kuwait index rose 1.2 percent, with Kuwait Projects  rising 4 percent. The company this week gained regulatory approval to increase its paid-up capital. ($1 = 3.7502 riyals)

(Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru Editing by David Goodman) ((shakeel.ahmad.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net;))

More From Markets