Mideast Stocks: Saudi weighed down by lenders, Qatar extends gains

Saudi's index was down 0.1% with banks leading the retreat

  

Saudi Arabia's stock market snapped a four-day winning streak on Monday, weighed down by its financial stocks, while Qatar extended gains as a stock split continued to attract investors.

Saudi's index was down 0.1% with banks leading the retreat. Saudi British Bank fell 1% and the lender Samba Financial Group dropped 0.8%.

But Tihama Advertising And Public Relations And Marketing Holding jumped 6.1% after posting a higher full-year profit.

Qatar's index was up 0.2%, rising for a third straight session. Qatar Islamic Bank was 1% higher and petrochemical maker Industries Qatar was up 0.9%.

The index has gained in recent sessions as a 10-to-one stock split for companies on the exchange is being phased in from June 9, in a bid to boost liquidity by encouraging smaller investors to buy shares. Dubai's index eased back 0.1% after registering a one-month high percentage gain in the last session. Real estate shares were the biggest drag with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties shedding 0.5%.

Emirates NBD, the largest lender in the emirate, slipped back 0.4% from a rise of 4.1% on Sunday after the bank received a banking regulatory approval to acquire shares in Turkey's Denizbank from Russia's Sberbank.

Nasdaq Dubai-listed DP World traded 0.6% higher after saying it had acquired oil services and marine logistics company Topaz Energy and Marine in a deal worth $1.08 billion in enterprise value.

The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.1% with First Abu Dhabi Bank adding 0.3% and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank gaining 0.4%.

The exchange announced on Sunday it was reducing its trading commission fees by between 50% and 90% as it seeks to reduce investment costs and attract investors into the market. The move takes effect on July 1.

(Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky) ((shakeel.ahmad.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net;))

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