|18 November, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Saudi gains on financials; blue-chip sell-off trips Egypt

In Dubai, the index retreated 0.9%, led by a 1.6% fall in Emirates NBD

Saudi traders monitor stocks at a Saudi Bank in Dammam October 26, 2008.

Saudi traders monitor stocks at a Saudi Bank in Dammam October 26, 2008.

REUTERS/Stringer

Saudi Arabian stocks rose on Monday, led by gains in financial shares, but Egypt saw a sharp decline as most blue-chip stocks fell.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index advanced 0.9%, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 1.1% and National Commercial Bank climbing 1.3%.

Mediterranean and Gulf Cooperative Insurance and Reinsurance (MedGulf) climbed 2.7%, a day after it signed a health insurance contract with Saudi Electricity. However, Saudi Electricity traded 0.6% down.

Saudi Industrial Export was up 1.8% following its board approval on Sunday to open a branch in Baghdad.

Basic Chemical Industries hiked 1.7%. The chemical firm, in a bourse filing, said that it has completed 35% of work in its chlorine production project at Jubail Industrial City.

Egypt's blue-chip index dropped 1.2%, with 28 of its 30 stocks declining. The country's largest lender Commercial International Bank fell 1% and El Sewedy Electric eased 3.6%.

On Monday, Reuters citing a U.S. state department official reported that Egypt's purchase of Russian fighter jets puts it at risk of U.S. sanctions and endangers future acquisitions of U.S. equipment.

Egypt is aware of those risks, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs R. Clarke Cooper said at the Dubai Airshow.

In Dubai, the index retreated 0.9%, led by a 1.6% fall in Emirates NBD

In the previous two sessions the lender gained over 10% after it confirmed on Wednesday the sale of 31 million shares in Network International Holdings for 160 million pounds.

Arabtec Holding plunged 10%, its biggest fall since May. On Friday, the firm swung to a third-quarter loss, compared with a profit a year earlier.

Among other real estate stocks, DAMAC Properties tumbled 4.8%. Last week, the developer reported a 78% plunge in third-quarter profit amid an extended slowdown in Dubai's property sector.

DAMAC shares have fallen by 50% this year, with profits contracting in the first three quarters, according to Refinitiv data.

The Abu Dhabi index extended losses to close 0.3% down, a day after it saw its biggest fall since August. Telecoms firm Emirates Telecommunications decreased 0.7%, whereas Invest Bank dived 9.9%.

Earlier in November, the latter reported accumulated losses of 1.86 billion dirhams as of September.

In Qatar, the index was down 0.2%, with Qatar Electricity and Water and Ezdan Holding dropping 2.6% and 0.8%.

SAUDI ARABIA   The index         rose 0.9% to 8,000 points

ABU DHABI        The index         slipped 0.3% to 5,047 points

DUBAI               The index         dropped 0.9% to 2,682 points

QATAR              The index          lost 0.2% to 10,297 points

EGYPT               The index         down 1.2% at 14,379 points

BAHRAIN           The index         added 0.2% to 1,502 points

OMAN               The index          decreased 0.2% to 4,086 points

KUWAIT            The index          was up 0.3% at 6,280 points

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

© Reuters News 2019

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