Mideast Stocks: Most major Gulf markets fall; FAB aids Abu Dhabi

Most major stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Wednesday

  
Investors monitor screens displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange June 25, 2014. Image for illustrative purposes

Investors monitor screens displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange June 25, 2014. Image for illustrative purposes

REUTERS/Stringer

Most major stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Wednesday, pressured by losses in financial shares, while top lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) supported the Abu Dhabi index.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index closed down 0.1%, with Al Rajhi Bank and petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries both losing 0.7% each.

Dubai's main share index dropped 0.9%, dragged down by a 1.4% fall in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank nd a 1% decrease in Emirates NBD Bank.

In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.6%, led by a 1.4% rise in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 2.1% gain in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

After trading hours on Wednesday, FAB said it was not in merger talks with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank 

The comment followed a local news report by Arabian Business which said Abu Dhabi's largest bank by assets had renewed "discussions for a possible merger deal" with the sharia-compliant lender.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, however, was down 0.2%.

The Qatari index  eased 0.3%, with Qatar Islamic Bank losing 0.6%, while lender Masraf Al Rayan dropped 0.8%.

Qatar Islamic Bank reported a net Profit of 2.22 billion riyals ($609.89 million) in the nine months, compared with 2.22 billion riyals a year earlier.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index rose 0.4%, helped by a 4.9% jump in El Sewedy Electric and a 0.3% increase in Commercial International Bank.

($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

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