|16 October, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Property shares boost Egypt, most Gulf markets trade up

Saudi snaps seven-day losing streak

A trader works at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, Egypt, December 3, 2015.

A trader works at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, Egypt, December 3, 2015.

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

A rebound in real estate shares lifted Egypt's blue-chip stock index on Wednesday, while most major Gulf markets rose marginally.

Egypt's blue-chip index gained 1.1%, with 24 out of 30 stocks advancing.

The country's largest lender, Commercial International Bank, added 0.6%, while developer Madinet Nasr MNHD.CA jumped 9.9% to become the top gainer on the index.

Middle Eastern funds plan to increase their investments in Egypt, despite recent political protests, while keeping their exposure to the rest of the region at current levels, according to a Reuters poll. 

Most of the fund managers polled said they were keeping their allocations in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait in equal proportions.

In Saudi Arabia, the benchmark index rose 0.5%, snapping a seven-day losing streak. Al Rajhi Bank gained 1.2% and Yamamah Cement increased 1.5%.

The cement producer posted third-quarter profit of 54.7 million riyals ($14.58 million), compared with a loss of 46.4 million riyals year ago.

Al Kathiri Holding surged 19.8% after it submitted a request to move to the main market. 

Currently the stock is listed on parallel market index.

However, Saudi stocks have been on the back foot in recent weeks. Escalating trade tensions between the United States and China, growing geopolitical risks in the region and volatile oil prices kept active emerging market funds from investing in the kingdom.

Dubai's main share index edged up 0.1% after previous session fall, with Dubai Islamic Bank gaining 0.4%.

On Tuesday, the sharia-compliant lender reported a rise in third-quarter profit to 1.25 billion Dirhams ($340.33 million).

Air Arabia advanced 1.5%. The airline and Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways said after the market closed that they had agreed to jointly set up a low-cost airline based in the United Arab Emirates' capital. 

In Abu Dhabi, the index also closed 0.1% up, led by a 1.6% increase in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and a 0.1% rise in First Abu Dhabi Bank.

In Qatar, the index traded flat with Gulf's biggest lender Qatar National Bank increasing 0.5%, while Mesaieed Petrochemical was down 1.8%.

($1 = 3.6729 UAE dirham)

($1 = 3.7507 riyals)

(Reporting by Shamsuddin Mohd in Bengaluru, Editing by William Maclean) ((shamsuddin.mohd@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497252;))

More From Markets