|17 October, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Saudi shares end higher as banks jump; Dubai falls over 1%

Emirates NBD sees its biggest fall in nearly 8 months

An investor uses his mobile phone at the Dubai Financial Market.

An investor uses his mobile phone at the Dubai Financial Market.

REUTERS/Mosab Omar

Saudi Arabian shares closed higher for a second straight session on Thursday as banks rallied, while Dubai was dragged down by its top lender Emirates NBD.

Saudi's benchmark index rose 1.6%, with Al Rajhi Bank1120.SE and Banque Saudi Fransi advancing 3.1%. and 6.6%, respectively.

The world's fourth-biggest petrochemical firm, Saudi Basic Industries, soared 4% after its joint-venture with China's SINOPEC kicked off its ethylene expansion project on Oct. 14.

In Dubai, the index fell 1.6%. Emirates NBD saw its worst session in nearly eight months and closed down 3.8%.

The bank's board approved a capital increase via a rights issue of up to 6.45 billion dirhams ($1.76 billion), lower than 7.35 billion dirhams that the general assembly had decided in February this year. 

Deyaar Development shed 5.6% after the developer reported a sharp decline in its third-quarter profit compared with the same quarter a year earlier.

Qatar's index slipped 0.1% as banking and energy stocks weighed. Qatar Fuel and Qatar Islamic Bank lost 1.3% and 0.7%, respectively.

Separately, Qatari company Baladna, which has built a dairy business in the desert following a trade embargo by Saudi Arabia and its allies, will launch an initial public offering this month that could raise 1.43 billion riyals ($392.86 million). 

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi's index reversed its course to close 0.1% higher, helped by a 1.4% rise in Aldar Properties.

On Wednesday, the realtor's unit issued a $500 million sukuk, or Islamic bonds, and the transaction was six times oversubscribed. 

Egypt's blue-chip index traded flat with country's largest lender, Commercial International Bank, dropping 1%, while developer Madinet Nasr ended 6% higher.

($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals)

(Reporting by Shamsuddin Mohd in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V) ((shamsuddin.mohd@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497252;))

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