Mideast Stocks: Abu Dhabi outperforms Gulf bourses, at record high

UAE banks' assets to grow 8% in 2022

Investors speak as they monitor stocks at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. Image for illustrative purposes

Investors speak as they monitor stocks at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. Image for illustrative purposes


Abu Dhabi's stock market reached an all-time high on Sunday, led by gains in top lender, while the Saudi index pulled back from a 15-year high.

In Abu Dhabi, the index advanced 0.9%, hitting a record high, with the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank  rising 2.1%.

Emirati banks' assets are expected to grow 8% in 2022, Dubai-based Al Arabiya TV channel cited the head of the United Arab Emirates Banks Federation Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair as saying on Sunday. 

The UAE economy will reap benefits from the world fair Expo 2020 for about nine years, he said, according to the channel.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index fell 0.8%, with Al Rajhi Bank declining 3%, ending a five-day winning streak.

On Sunday, Al Rajhi reported a net profit of 3.79 billion riyals ($1.01 billion) for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from 2.66 billion riyals in the same period last year. 

But Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co  climbed 2.8%, after it swung to a quarterly net profit.

Meanwhile, the kingdom wants to be the biggest supplier of hydrogen, the country's Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman al-Saud said on Sunday. 

Dubai's main share index gained 0.8%, led by a 8.7% jump in logistic firm Aramex.

In the previous session, Aramex surged 14.9%, its biggest intraday gain since Jan. 2009, after a direct deal worth 1.41 billion dirhams ($383.90 million) for its 295 million shares.

On the other hand, Union Properties slid 4.8%. The United Arab Emirates attorney general has announced an investigation into allegations of financial violations by the chairman and other officials of Union Properties, Reuters reported on Sunday, citing state-news agency WAM. 

The Qatari index closed 0.4% lower, hit by a 2.4% fall in petrochemical maker Industries Qatar.

Employers in Qatar will be required to provide health insurance coverage for expatriates and their families under a new law issued by the emir this week, a senior Qatari official said on Thursday. 

Shares of Qatar Insurance finished 1.4% higher.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index added 0.5%, as most of the stocks on the index were in positive territory.

Egypt's economy will grow 5.1% in the fiscal year that ends in June 2022, but accelerate to 5.5% in each of the following two years as tourism continues to rebound and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic wane, a Reuters poll showed.

($1 = 0.2723 UAE dirham)

($1 = 3.7507 riyals)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

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