Mideast Stocks: Dubai leads gains in Gulf as financial shares rise

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index edged up 0.2%

Investors are seen at the Dubai International Financial Market in Dubai, UAE February 7, 2018.

Investors are seen at the Dubai International Financial Market in Dubai, UAE February 7, 2018.

REUTERS/Satish Kumar

Most stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Wednesday, with Dubai leading the gains on back of Emirates NBD Bank.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index edged up 0.2%, with Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Company rising 6.8% and Saudi Arabian Mining Company was up 2.6%.

The index's gains, however, were capped by losses at oil behemoth Saudi Aramco, which declined 0.8%.

Rosneft and Saudi Aramco are unlikely to bid in the privatisation of Indian refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp , Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the matter, as low oil prices and weak demand curb their investment plans. 

Dubai's main share index climbed 0.9%, with Emirates NBD Bank leaping 3.4% logistic firm Aramex.

The Dubai Financial Market said on Tuesday it plans to launch an equity derivatives platform as part of its diversification strategy. 

The contracts include Emirates NBD Bank along with others.

The Abu Dhabi index closed up 0.5%, helped by a 0.5% gain in First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) and a 0.7% increase in telecoms firm Etisalat .

FAB, the United Arab Emirates' largest lender, issued a $750 million benchmark additional tier 1 perpetual 6-year bond. 

In Qatar, the index increased 0.8%, driven by a 2.7% increase in Qatar Islamic Bank and a 1.1% rise in Qatar National Bank.

Back in the UAE, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for Distribution advanced 2% after approving payment of an interim cash dividend of 10.285 fils per share for the first six months of 2020.

Kuwait was closed following the death of its Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah.

The Gulf state's 91-year old emir died on Tuesday, plunging his country into mourning. 

In the previous session, Kuwaiti stocks were hit hard with the benchmark premier index .BKP retreating 2.2%, its biggest intraday fall since April.

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

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