|24 October, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Financial stocks elevate Egypt, most of Gulf quiet

All but one financial stocks gain in Egypt

Traders work at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, Egypt, December 3, 2015.

Traders work at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, Egypt, December 3, 2015.

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

The Egyptian stock market rebounded on Thursday, getting a boost from financials, while most major Gulf markets were little changed.

The Egyptian blue-chip index rose 0.6%, with 23 of its 30 stocks in the black. Non-Arab foreigners were the net buyers of the stocks during the session, while Egyptians were the net sellers, according to data on the exchange website.

Tobacco products maker Eastern Company climbed 2.8%, while EFG Hermes leapt 3.1%.

Among other stocks, Egypt's Citadel Capital climbed 3.8%. Earlier this week, the company's chairman told Reuters that Citadel will raise its refinery production capacity to 5.5 million tonnes of oil products per year in 2021 from 4.2 million now. 

In Saudi Arabia, the benchmark index was up 0.3%, with Saudi British Bank1060.SE advancing 2% and Bank Al Jazira ending 0.9% higher.

On Wednesday, the latter reported a near 4% rise in third-quarter net profit, underpinned by a jump in operating income. 

Shares of National Commercial Bank, the kingdom's largest lender, were little changed even as it posted a quarterly net profit of 2.55 billion riyals, up 20% compared with the same period last year. 

Zahrat Al Waha For Trading firmed 4.1%, its biggest percentage jump since July, after it reported a rise in third-quarter net profit.

In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark index added 0.2%, extending gains to a fourth straight session, with First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) strengthening 0.8%.

Post trading hours, United Arab Emirates' largest lender reported a 3% rise in third-quarter profit, broadly in line with analysts' estimates. 

The Qatari index reversed course to close 0.2% higher, snapping a four-day losing streak, supported by gains in blue-chip stocks.

Gulf's largest lender Qatar National Bank was up 0.6%, while Qatar Fuel rose 1.2%.

Dubai's benchmark index edged up 0.1%, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and its unit Emaar Malls gaining 1.1% and 1%, respectively.

($1 = 3.7504 riyals)

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

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