|09 December, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Saudi index extends gains; other Gulf markets subdued

In Saudi, the benchmark index rose 0.8%, with Saudi Basic Industries and National Commercial Bank gaining 1.7% and 1.5%, respectively

A man checks his mobile phone next to a screen with Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) prices in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

A man checks his mobile phone next to a screen with Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) prices in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

Saudi Arabian shares rose for a second day on Monday, following the agreement between OPEC and its allies to extend output cuts by 500,000 barrels per day, while other major Gulf equities saw a sluggish start.

Saudi Arabia spearheaded a deal on Friday where the OPEC+ group of oil producers will commit to some of the deepest output cuts in a decade aiming to avert oversupply and bolster prices.

In Saudi, the benchmark index rose 0.8%, with Saudi Basic Industries and National Commercial Bank gaining 1.7% and 1.5%, respectively.

Among other stocks, Sahara International Petrochemical leapt 4.2% to become the top gainer on the index. The firm's board proposed to purchase up to 10% of ordinary shares and hold them as treasury shares.

Qassim Cement climbed 4% after its board recommended third-quarter cash dividend of 1 riyal per share.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Stock Exchange, Tadawul, said on Friday trading in Aramco's shares would commence on Dec. 11.

Aramco priced its IPO at 32 riyals ($8.53) per share, the top of its indicative range, the company said in a statement last week, raising $25.6 billion and beating Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's record $25 billion listing in 2014.

Meanwhile, the Qatari index dropped 0.3%, dragged down by a 0.8% fall in Qatar National Bank followed by a 0.4% decrease in Industries Qatar.

In Dubai, the index edged down 0.1%, with Emaar Properties losing 0.5% and its unit Emaar Malls shedding 1%.

The Abu Dhabi index also inched 0.1% lower, extending losses for a third straight session. The United Arab Emirates' largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and developer Aldar Properties declined 0.1% and 0.9%, respectively.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))

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