Most Gulf stock markets rose on Monday, with Saudi Arabia outperforming its regional peers on the back of a rise in banking stocks and a rebound in shares of oil giant Saudi Aramco.
The Saudi index rose for a seventh consecutive session and was up 1.4%. Samba Financial Group and Banque Saudi Fransi increased 5.9% and 3.9%, respectively.
The Aramco stock's recent fall raised investors' appetite to buy more shares to average down the cost of investment after having bought at higher prices, an investor told Reuters.
Saudi Industrial Investment Group climbed 6.5% to its biggest intraday rise since Oct. 15, 2018. The company's board recommended a 0.75 riyal per share dividend for the second half of the year.
Saudi Airlines Catering jumped 5.3% after it renewed in-flight catering agreement with Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) for 10 years in a deal provisionally valued at 12 billion riyals ($3.20 billion).
Abu Dhabi's index rose 0.7%, with market heavy-weight First Abu Dhabi Bank gaining 1.5%, while National Bank Of Ras Al Khaimah rose 2.4%.
Dubai's index was also up 0.7% as Emirates NBD advanced 1.6% and Dubai Islamic Bank added 0.7%.
On Monday, Dubai-based Noor Bank said its shareholders accepted Dubai Islamic Bank's offer to acquire the unlisted lender.
The Qatar index recovered early losses and closed 0.4% higher, extending gains to a straight third session.
The Gulf's largest lender, Qatar National Bank, increased 1.2%, while Qatar Islamic Bank was up 1%.
Last week, Qatar presented its biggest budget in five years. The Gulf state said it would spend 1.9% more in 2020 than this year, outlining a 210.5 billion Qatari riyal ($57.81 billion) budget to complete infrastructure projects, including facilities for the 2022 soccer World Cup.
In Egypt, the blue-chip index inched up 0.1%, led by gains in Commercial International Bank Egypt that rose 1.3%.
SAUDI ARABIA rose 1.4% to 8,416 points
ABU DHABI was up 0.7% to 5,112 points
DUBAI rose 0.7% to 2,782 points
QATAR edged up 0.4 % to 10,515 points
EGYPT was up 0.1% to 13,902 points
BAHRAIN rose 0.4% to 1,599 points
OMAN was down 0.8% 3,898 points
KUWAIT was flat at 6,976 points
($1 = 3.7512 riyals)
© Reuters News 2019