Mideast Stocks: Major Gulf bourses end mixed; ACWA Power surges on debut

audi index extending losses from the previous session

A Saudi trader monitors stocks at the Saudi stock market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 8, 2020.

A Saudi trader monitors stocks at the Saudi stock market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 8, 2020.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Major stock markets in the Gulf ended mixed on Monday, with the Saudi index extending losses from the previous session.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index dropped 0.5%, with Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services declining 1.1%, while Al Rajhi Bank was down 0.2%.

The Saudi stock market fell as traders took profits after the main index reached a new interim high, said Wael Makarem, senior market strategist at Exness.

"The market fell despite the strong oil prices and the trading start of Acwa Power, two factors that should help the bourse rebound."

However, shares in Saudi Arabian renewable energy utility ACWA Power International jumped 30% on its market debut after a $1.2 billion IPO, the kingdom's biggest since Saudi Aramco's massive public offering in 2019.

In Abu Dhabi, the indexgained 0.7%, buoyed by a 1.1%rise in the largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 3.5% leap in Alpha Dhabi Holding.

Dubai's main share index eased 0.1%, hit by a 0.6% fall in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank and a 0.5% decrease in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties.

Emaar Properties said on Monday shareholders had approved an all-share merger with Emaar Malls.

The Qatari index finished 0.1% higher, with Qatar National Bank (QNB)  gaining 0.4%.

QNB, the Gulf's biggest lender, posted an 8% increase in nine-month net profit to 10.3 billion Qatari riyals ($2.81 billion), citing loan growth. 

Separately, Qatar changed the name of its state-owned oil and gas firm to Qatar Energy from Qatar Petroleum, to reflect a broader strategy. However, it said it had no plans to sell assets to raise funds as other Gulf state producers have. 

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index climbed 0.5%, with top lender Commercial International Bank rising 1.6%.

($1 = 3.6625 Qatar riyals)

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

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