Mideast Stocks: Most major Gulf indexes gain ahead of OPEC+ meet

Top lender FAB weighs on Abu Dhabi

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Traders monitor stock information at Dubai Financial Market, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 5, 2017.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Traders monitor stock information at Dubai Financial Market, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 5, 2017.

REUTERS/Stringer

Most major stock markets in the Gulf closed on a positive note on Thursday, reversing losses earlier in the session, ahead of a meeting between OPEC producers and their allies to discuss future output strategy.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, are expected to hold an online meeting later on Thursday to discuss the future of a record 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) output cut. 

The benchmark index in Saudi Arabia rose 0.6%, with oil giant Saudi Aramco gaining 1.4% and petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) advancing 2.5%.

On Wednesday, Aramco completed its purchase of a 70% stake in SABIC for $69.1 billion and extended the payment period by three years to 2028. 

Meanwhile, the kingdom's crude oil exports in April rose to 10.237 million barrels per day (bpd) from 7.391 million bpd in March, official data showed on Thursday. 

The Qatari index gained 1%, led by a 2.1% increase in Qatar Islamic Bank and a 2.3% rise in petrochemical firm Industries Qatar.

In Dubai, the index added 0.4%, supported by a 3% rise in lender Emirates NBD and a 2.1% increase in sharia-compliamt lender Dubai Islamic Bank.

The Abu Dhabi index, however, bucked the trend, to close 0.7% down. First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the United Arab Emirates' largest lender, retreated 1.7%, while aquaculture firm International Holding slid 3.9%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index lost 0.4%, with Commercial International Bank losing 0.3% and Talaat Mostafa Holding retreating 2.4%.

The Egyptian government is looking to raise a loan of more than $1 billion, Reuters reported, citing two sources familiar with the deal. 

The financing plan comes as Egypt's economy is suffering from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, which has badly hit its tourism and construction sectors.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru, Editing by William Maclean) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

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