Mideast Stocks: Saudi shares rise as NCB gains; financials weigh on Qatar

Saudi's index edged up 0.1%. The country's biggest bank, National Commercial Bank gained 0.7%


Saudi stocks rose on Wednesday as the earnings at National Commercial Bank boosted financial stocks. However, financial shares weighed down the Qatar market.

Saudi's index edged up 0.1%. The country's biggest bank, National Commercial Bank, gained 0.7% after posting a 24% rise in second-quarter profit, helped by higher fee and commission income and lower expenses.

Saudi banks have benefited from higher interest rates and increased demand for loans to support housing and government-related projects.

Ataa Educational surged 10% on its first day of trading. The school network operator offered 12 million shares representing 30% of its share capital at a price of 29 riyals per share.

Maharah Human Resources, which went public earlier this year, jumped 6.8% after its second-quarter profit rose 25%.

Qatar's index fell 0.8%, weighed down by a 1.4% drop in petrochemical maker Industries Qatar before its earnings report on Thursday. EFG Hermes forecast a 47% plunge in its second-quarter profit.

Qatar Insurance was down 4.4% after reporting 410 million riyals of first-half profit, including 266 million riyals for the first quarter. EFG Hermes had forecast a profit of 209 million riyals for the second quarter.

Abu Dhabi's index was down 0.3%. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the country's second biggest bank, dropped 0.9% for its third straight day of losses after reporting an 11% drop in second-quarter profit.

Dubai's index was up 0.2%. Emirates NBD gained 0.9% and Emaar Properties rose 0.7%. The developer has risen in recent sessions after signing a memorandum of understanding for an $11 billion project at Beijing's new airport.

(Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King) ((shakeel.ahmad.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net;))

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