|24 September, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Saudi stocks gain on banks, petrochemicals

Saudi's index was up 0.5%, led by a 1% gain in Al Rajhi Bank and a 0.5% rise in Riyad Bank

Saudi Arabian stocks rose on Tuesday, boosted by banks and petrochemical firms and as more companies joined the FTSE Russell and the S&P Dow Jones emerging market indexes.

On Monday, Saudi stocks joined the FTSE Russell index in their fourth of eventual five tranches and the S&P Dow Jones index in the second and final phase.

Saudi stocks initially joined the two indexes as well as MSCI's emerging markets index earlier this year.

Saudi's index was up 0.5%, led by a 1% gain in Al Rajhi Bank and a 0.5% rise in Riyad Bank.

Petrochemical firms gained after feedstock supplies from oil giant Saudi Aramco improved. Rabigh Refining And Petrochemical climbed 1% after it said crude oil supply was resorted to normal levels, while Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC), the largest petrochemical maker in the Gulf, was up 0.4% after it said last week its feedstock supply improved significantly.

Reuters reported on Monday that Saudi Arabia had restored more than 75% of crude output lost after attacks on its facilities earlier this month and will return to full volumes by early next week.

Abu Dhabi's index inched up 0.2% after four days of losses, with First Abu Dhabi Bank gaining 0.3%, while Emirates Telecommunications Group added 0.2%.

In Dubai, the index  dropped 1.1% a day after it snapped four sessions of losses. Financials led the drag with market heavyweight Emirates NBD losing 2.3%.

Union Properties slumped 5.7% after the company said circulation in social media about its business and board was adversely affecting its trading on the stock market. It denied the circulation but did not say what it was about.

The company added Chairman Naser Butti Omair Bin Yousef Al Mheiri had resigned and the board would meet on Thursday to consider his resignation.

Qatar's index was down 0.1% as Commercial Bank declined 2% and Qatar National Bank, the Gulf's largest lender, slipped 0.5%.

(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))

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