Mideast Stocks: Saudi extends gains as global rally lifts most of Gulf

Insurer Medgulf rises after tax settlement

  
Investors and speculators monitor stock prices on a screen at the FALCOM investment bank in Riyadh August 5, 2014.

Investors and speculators monitor stock prices on a screen at the FALCOM investment bank in Riyadh August 5, 2014.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Saudi Arabia's stock market rose for a fifth straight day on Monday as most major Gulf bourses gained, reflecting positive global market sentiment after the United States and China reached a trade war truce.

Saudi's index was up 0.4% with banks leading gains. Al Rajhi Bank rose 0.9% and Arab National Bank  climbed 2.9%.

The index is up 13% this year, led by foreign investors, who have been net buyers of Saudi equities in recent months.

Three of five tranches of Saudi stocks have joined the FTSE emerging market index this year and completed the first phase of joining the MSCI emerging market benchmark in May, with the second phase due in August.

"We estimate that the MSCI inclusion process will see more than $13 billion of passive flows coming in to the Saudi market in 2019," said Hootan Yazhari, head of MENA & frontier markets research, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Assuming Saudi will have around 3% weight in the FTSE emerging market index would add "upwards of another $6 billion".

Tihama Advertising And Public Relations And Marketing Holding 4070.SE moved 2.7% higher after posting a higher full-year profit.

Insurer Medgulf gained 1.8% after it agreed 115.6 million riyals ($30.83 million) of settlement with the General Authority Of Zakat and Tax.

Qatar's index rose 1% to climb for a third straight session. Qatar Islamic Bank QISB.QA was 1.8% higher and petrochemical maker Industries Qatar was up 1.7%.

The index has gained in recent sessions as a 10-to-one stock split for companies on the exchange is being phased in from June 9, in a bid to boost liquidity by encouraging smaller investors to buy shares.

Dubai's index rose 0.6% after registering a one-month high percentage gain in the last session. Banks were the biggest boost with a 1.2% rise in Dubai Islamic Bank and a 0.9% gain in Emirates NBD.

The emirate's largest lender Emirates NBD surged 4.1% on Sunday after the bank received regulatory approval to buy shares in Turkey's Denizbank from Russia's Sberbank. 

Kuwait's index was up 0.2%, registering its third consecutive gain.

Last week, index compiler MSCI said it would upgrade Kuwaiti equities to its main emerging markets index in 2020, a move that could trigger billions of dollars of inflows from passive funds. 

Middle Eastern funds plan to continue increasing their investments in Kuwait over the next three months, a Reuters poll found.

The Abu Dhabi index traded flat with market heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD shedding 0.3%.

The Egyptian stock exchange was closed for a holiday.

($1 = 3.7502 riyals) 

(Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru; ; editing by John Stonestreet) ((shakeel.ahmad.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net;))

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