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|07 January, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Saudi gains on financials, most of Gulf mixed

Most major Middle East markets were mixed in early trading on Monday, despite rebounding oil prices

Most major Middle East markets were mixed in early trading on Monday, despite rebounding oil prices, while the Saudi market was lifted by its financial and petrochemical stocks.

Saudi Arabia's index rose 0.3 percent with Saudi Kayan Petrochemical adding 2.2 percent and Savola Group increasing 2 percent.

Saudi exchange data released late on Sunday showed that foreigners were net buyers of 134.3 million riyals ($35.81 million) of stocks last week.

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Al Rajhi Bank, the kingdom's second-largest lender by assets, rose 1.2 percent, having gained over 5 percent in the last session on plans to increase its capital to 25 billion riyals from 16.25 billion riyals.

Al Ahlia For Cooperative Insurance climbed 0.7 percent after seeking shareholder approval for a merger offer from Gulf Union Cooperative Insurance Co, which slipped 0.8 percent.

The Qatar index edged down 0.2 percent, with the Middle East's bigget lender, Qatar National Bank, losing 0.7 percent.

Doha Bank, instead, inched up 0.3 percent; the firm said it signed a memorandum of understanding with Stock Holding Corp of India to facilitate its global customer base to invest in India.

In Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates' largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank climbed 0.7 percent. This helped the index rise 0.4 percent, gaining for a third straight session.

The Dubai index was down 0.2 percent, with telecommunications firm Du shedding 1.4 percent.

($1 = 3.7506 riyals)

(Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad and Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru, editing by Davide Barbuscia) ((shakeel.ahmad.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net;))

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