Mideast Stocks: Gulf stocks gain in early trade

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index rose 0.1%


Stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Wednesday, with Abu Dhabi on track to extend gains for a fourth session.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index rose 0.1%, helped by a 0.6% increase in petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries and a 1.3% gain in Saudi British Bank.

Dubai's main share index added 0.6%, led by a 1.5% rise in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties.

Financials stocks also drove the gains in the Dubai index, with Emirates NBD Bank and sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank gaining 0.9% and 0.6%, respectively.

In Abu Dhabi, the index edged up 0.1%, with Aldar Properties jumping 8.4%, its biggest intraday gain since Oct.

On Wednesday, Abu Dhabi Executive Council approved a framework between Abu Dhabi Government and Aldar Properties for development of capital projects in the emirate. 

The framework includes Aldar taking on the management of 30 billion dirhams ($8.17 billion) worth of major projects.

The index's gains, however, were limited by losses at telecoms firm Etisalat.

In the previous session, Etisalat saw its best day in nearly six years as the company called a board meeting on JAn. 20, to discuss increasing the foreign ownership limit in the firm. 

Elsewhere, Qatar's main index gained 0.1%, driven mainly by a 1.5% rise in market heavyweight Industries Qatar.

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

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

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