Mideast Stocks: Banks aid Saudi index as FAB weighs on Abu Dhabi

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index added 0.2% amid choppy trade


Saudi Arabian stocks edged up on Tuesday, bolstered by banking, while weak earnings by top lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) weighed on Abu Dhabi.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index added 0.2% amid choppy trade, as Riyad Bank advanced 1.9% and Saudi British Bank  was up 2.7%.

But oil giant Saudi Aramco retreated 0.5% amid concern about dwindling capacity to store crude worldwide.

Brent crude futures were down 5.8%, or $1.15, at $18.84 a barrel by 0751 GMT.

The Abu Dhabi index  declined 1%, led by a 2.7% fall in First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB).

The biggest lender in the United Arab Emirates reported a 22% drop in quarterly profit on Monday, hit by interest rate cuts and impairment charges.

Its net profit in the first quarter was 2.4 billion dirhams ($653.42 million) versus 3.1 billion dirhams a year earlier.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank retreated 2.2%.

Dubai's main share index gained 0.8%, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties rising 2.3% and sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank up 1.1%.

The Qatari index inched up 0.2%, aided by a 7.1% jump in United Development.

However, the index's gains were capped by losses at Mesaieed Petrochemical, which traded 3.6% down after reporting an 83% plunge in first-quarter net profit.

($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirham)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by Nick Macfie) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

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