Mideast Stocks: Kuwait leads Gulf lower, Egypt hit by coronavirus spike

Dubai Investments extends losses

  
Investors mill around on the floor of the Kuwait stock exchange as they decide what to sell and buy December 1, 2002 in Kuwait City, Kuwait. With the possibilities of war in Iraq looming investors are unsure what that will do to the market.

Investors mill around on the floor of the Kuwait stock exchange as they decide what to sell and buy December 1, 2002 in Kuwait City, Kuwait. With the possibilities of war in Iraq looming investors are unsure what that will do to the market.

Getty Images/Joe Raedle

Most Gulf stocks closed lower on Sunday, with Kuwait hardest after its banking federation said banks would not pay dividends, while Egyptian shares sold off on a spike in coronavirus cases.

The Kuwaiti index tumbled 3.2%, its biggest intraday fall since April, with National Bank of Kuwait down 4% and Kuwait Finance House ending 3.8% lower.

Kuwait's Capital Markets Authority on Thursday cancelled all Wednesday's stock transactions after bank stocks fell in the wake of a banking federation statement that Kuwaiti banks would not pay dividends for 2020. 

Beyond the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index ended 0.9% down, pressured by a 2.6% fall in Egypt Kuwait Holding and a 4.4% drop in El Sewedy Electric.

Egypt confirmed 1,677 new coronavirus cases and 62 deaths, its health ministry said on Saturday, the highest daily increase for both. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index slipped 0.2%. Banque Saudi Fransi 1050.SE fell 2.2%, while petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries eased 0.6%.

Separately, the kingdom's Amlak International for Real Estate Finance said it will proceed with an initial public offering of 30% of its shares on the Riyadh exchange.

Dubai's main share index eased 0.5%, driven down by a 4.8% fall in Dubai Investments, extending losses from the previous session after the stock traded ex-dividend and Arabtec Holding was down 1.3%.

The Abu Dhabi index slipped 0.4%, hurt by a 0.7% fall in top lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Qatar's index dropped 0.5%, with petrochemical firm Industries Qatar falling 1.9% and utility company Qatar Electricity and Water  declining 2%.

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

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