Mideast Stocks: Saudi gains in early trade, other major Gulf bourses ease

The Saudi Arabian benchmark index rose 0.3%


Most major stock markets in the Gulf were subdued in early trade on Thursday, while the Saudi index bucked the trend to trade higher.

The Saudi Arabian benchmark index rose 0.3%, with Al Rajhi Bank adding 0.9%. Arriyadh Development Company jumped about 8% after reporting a sharp rise in its quarterly net profit. 

The property developer also proposed a dividend of one riyal per share for the first half of 2021. 

Arabian Centres gained 0.9%, a day after it announced the start of actual offering for international sukuk issuance.

Dubai's main share index fell 0.2%, hit by a 0.6% drop in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank and 0.5% slide in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties.

Meanwhile, an Abu Dhabi judge referred to arbitration a dispute between NMC and Dubai Islamic Bank and ordered the firm to pay most of the legal costs incurred by the lender, in a case that impacts creditor recoveries in NMC's multi-billion restructuring.

NMC, the largest private healthcare provider in the United Arab Emirates, ran into trouble last year after a disclosure of more than $4 billion in hidden debt.

In Abu Dhabi, the index eased 0.2%, pressured by a 0.5% decline in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

The Qatari benchmark lost 0.1%, with Qatar National Bank, the Gulf's biggest lender, falling 0.5%.

However, the index's losses were limited by gains at Qatar Islamic Bank and utility firm Qatar Electricity and Water, as the duo reported an increase in first-half net profit. 

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

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