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| 19 July, 2018

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed; SABIC edges up on Aramco plan

Gulf stock markets were mixed in early trade on Thursday, with Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) nudging up

Chairman of the Board of Directors of National Commercial Bank (NCB) Mansour Al Maiman signs during the listing ceremony at the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh November 12, 2014.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of National Commercial Bank (NCB) Mansour Al Maiman signs during the listing ceremony at the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh November 12, 2014.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

DUBAI  - Gulf stock markets were mixed in early trade on Thursday, with Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) nudging up in Saudi Arabia after Saudi Aramco said it was in early talks to acquire a stake in the petrochemical giant.

SABIC, the largest listed company in the Gulf, was up by 0.2 percent in early trading.

That followed separate statements on Thursday from Saudi Aramco and Public Investment Fund (PIF) saying that Aramco was in early talks to acquire a stake in SABIC from the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund. Reuters reported on Wednesday that the government was considering a plan for Aramco to buy a stake in the petrochemical maker.

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Another gainer on the Saudi market was Alinma Bank, which rose 1.8 percent after reporting a 27.3 percent climb in second-quarter net profit to 621 million riyals ($165.6 million).

The main index was flat as investors waited until more companies announce second-quarter results.

In Qatar, the biggest gainer was Commercial Bank, which climbed 1.8 percent after beating estimates with a five-fold increase in second-quarter net profit.

The main Qatar index lost 0.4 percent.

Dubai's index fell 0.3 percent, while Abu Dhabi's index was flat.

($1 = 3.7503 riyals)

(Editing by Larry King) ((tom.arnold@thomsonreuters.com))