|08 December, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Saudi stocks up strongly as banks move higher after OPEC deal

Saudi Aramco to begin trading from December 11

A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018.

A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

The Saudi stock market was up sharply on Sunday, led by banking shares, after OPEC and its allies agreed to extend production cuts by 500,000 barrels per day to support oil prices.

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.

The Saudi exchange closed 2.4% higher at 8,099 points in heavy volume, banking stocks Al Rajhi Bank and National Commercial Bank were up 1.6% and 3.1% respectively.

Arabian Centres added 2.6% after its board approved a 0.90 riyal per share dividend for the first half.

Meanwhile State-owned oil group Saudi Aramco priced its initial public offering at 32 riyals ($8.53) a share, the top of its indicative range, the company said on Thursday. This will make it the world's biggest IPO which will raise more than Alibaba's $25 billion listing in 2014. 

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

"Aramco will be included in the MSCI, FTSE and S&P emerging market indexes shortly after listing, we expect this to take place on a fast-track basis within 2 weeks and to lead to incremental buying of $3.4 billion," said Dalma Capital's CEO Zachary Cefaratti.

The Qatari index was up 0.2%. Qatar Islamic Bank rose 1.3%, while Commercial Bank was up 1.4% after it said that it expected to issue bonds worth $500 million in the first or second quarter of 2020. 4

Egypt's blue-chip index lost 0.9% with 24 of its 30 stocks in the red, including Commercial International Bank which was down 0.6% and EFG Hermes which lost 2.3%.

The Abu Dhabi index slipped 0.1% driven down by a 0.5% fall in Emirates Telecommunications.

In Dubai, the index was flat with Emirates NBD shedding 2.1%, while Arabtec Holding soared 14.4%, its biggest intraday gain since Feb. 2017.

Earlier in December, an Arabtec unit obtained a construction contract in Egypt worth 1.6 billion Egyptian Pounds ($99.63 million).

($1 = 16.0600 Egyptian pounds)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane Merriman) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))

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