|26 May, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Financials weigh on Saudi, blue chips gain in Egypt

Saudi Arabia's stock market fell sharply on Sunday, dragged down by the financial and petrochemical sectors, while Egypt's blue chips gained.

Investors talk as they monitor screens displaying stock information at the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh.

Investors talk as they monitor screens displaying stock information at the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

DUBAI- Saudi Arabia's stock market fell sharply on Sunday, dragged down by the financial and petrochemical sectors, while Egypt's blue chips gained.

Saudi's index dropped 2%, with Saudi British Bank (SABB) 1060.SE falling 3.5%, Samba Financial Group , the Kingdom's third-largest bank by assets, shedding 3.4%, and National Commercial Bank, the country's largest lender, 3.3%.

Saudi International Petrochemical Co (Sipchem) lost 4.2% and petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) shed 2.4%.

Saudi Arabian mall operator Arabian Centres, which was listed on Wednesday, dipped further by 4.8% to 23.3 riyals ($6.22) from its initial public offer price of 26 riyals.

Savola Group, Saudi's largest food products company, was the worst performer, dropping 6.2%.

The Saudi index has lost 10% this month in a sell-off triggered by global trade disputes and regional geo-political tensions. The market, however, is still up 7% year-to-date driven mainly by foreign capital flows into Saudi stocks.

Egypt's blue-chip index gained 1.5%, bolstered by energy and telecommunications stocks.

Orascom Investment Holding gained 8.6% as it resumed trading after disclosing that it is seeking with banks ways to transfer confiscated amounts under the security council's exemption of the company's investment in North Korea.

Egyptian Chemical Industries (Kima) gained 7.3% and Telecom Egypt ETEL.CA was up 4.3%.

Dubai's index was down 0.3%, dragged down by real estate shares. Builder Arabtec  shed 5.3%, Dubai's largest listed developer Emaar Properties lost 3.6% and property firm Deyaar fell by 1.6%.

The Abu Dhabi index slipped by 0.1%, while Qatar's index  declined by 0.3%, with most losses concentrated among banks and companies working in the oil and gas sector.

($1 = 3.7502 riyals) ($1 = 16.8100 Egyptian pounds)

(Reporting by Tuqa Khalid Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky) ((Tuqa.Khalid@thomsonreuters.com; +971521047568;))

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