Mideast Stocks: Dubai leads major Gulf bourses higher, Egypt extends gains

Samba Financial Group gains as Q2 profit rises

  
Image used for illustrative purposes only. Investors looks at stock exchange information at the Dubai Financial Market .

Image used for illustrative purposes only. Investors looks at stock exchange information at the Dubai Financial Market .

REUTERS/Mosab Omar

Major Middle Eastern markets ended higher on Thursday, with Dubai outperforming the region, as many investors returned from a long break for the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha.

Investors usually prefer to cash in holdings before the Eid holidays, which lasted for at least three days in most Gulf countries.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index rose 0.4%, with Al Rajhi Bank and Samba Financial Group both gaining 1%.

Samba on Wednesday posted a 2% rise in quarterly net profit to 955 million riyals ($254.65 million), surviving a period marked by the coronavirus outbreak and weak interest rates. 

Dubai's main share index advanced 1.4%, boosted by a 1.6% rise in Emirates NBD Bank and a 3.4% leap in logistic firm Aramex.

Aramex reported a second-quarter net profit of 94.4 million dirhams ($25.70 million), down from 123.2 million dirhams a year ago, but higher than the preceding quarter. 

Meanwhile, foreign direct investment in Dubai fell by 74% in the first half of the year compared with the same period of 2019, as the pandemic stalled parts of the global economy.

The Middle East financial and trade centre drew in 12 billion dirhams ($3.27 billion) in the six months to June 30, the Dubai government said.

The Abu Dhabi index closed up 1.3%, buoyed by a 1.5% rise in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

In Qatar, which traded after a five-session break, the blue-chip index gained 1%. Petrochemical firm Industries Qatar climbed 3.2%, while Qatar Islamic Bank was up 1.6%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index added 1.1%, extending gains for a fourth session, with Commercial International Bank rising 2.1%.

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

($1 = 3.7503 riyals)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

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