Mideast Stocks: Saudi gains on banking boost; Etisalat drags Abu Dhabi lower

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.5%


Most stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Monday, with banks boosting the Saudi index, while the Abu Dhabi bourse was hit by declines in Etisalat shares.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.5%, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 1.9% and petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries was up 1.2%.

Al Rajhi Bank posted on Sunday a net profit of 3.6 billion riyals ($959.92 million) for the period ended June 30, up from 2.44 billion riyals in the same period a year earlier. 

Alinma Bank rose 1.5%, a day after it reported a rise in quarterly net profit. 

Saudi banks have benefited from growth in mortgages and an economic recovery this year following the easing of coronavirus lockdowns.

The Qatari index gained 0.6%, as almost all the stocks were in the positive territory including Qatar Aluminium Manufacturing CO, up over 6%.

The aluminium maker is scheduled to report its first-half earnings on Thursday.

Dubai's main share index added 0.3%, led by a 14.5% surge in Mashreq Bank.

In Abu Dhabi, the index retreated 0.7%, hit by a 2.5% fall in Emirates Telecommunications Group (Etisalat).

The Abu Dhabi index touched a record high on Sunday buoyed by a jump in telecoms firm Etisalat after it reported quarterly net profit of 2.40 billion dirhams ($653.49 million), up from 2.39 billion dirhams a year earlier. 

Etisalat also approved distribution of interim dividend of 40 fils per share for the first-half of 2021. 

The United Arab Emirates will start providing China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 3-17, the UAE government said on Twitter on Monday. 

($1 = 3.6726 UAE dirham)

($1 = 3.7503 riyals)

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

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