Mideast Stocks: Most Gulf bourses gain in early trade; Saudi retreats

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index fell 0.7%, with Al Rajhi Bank dropping 2.4%

  

Most stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Sunday, with the Abu Dhabi index outperforming the region, while the Saudi index bucked the trend to trade lower.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index fell 0.7%, with Al Rajhi Bank dropping 2.4%, on course to end a five-day winning streak.

On Sunday, Al Rajhi reported a net profit of 3.79 billion riyals ($1.01 billion) for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from 2.66 billion riyals in the same period last year. 

Saudi National Bank 1180.SE traded flat. The kingdom's biggest lender posted a nearly 20% rise in third-quarter profit, citing higher fees. 

But Saudi Telecom 7010.SE rose 0.9%, following an increase in quarterly net profit.

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 0.7%, buoyed by a 1.3% rise in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 0.5% increase in conglomerate International Holding Co (IHC).

Dubai's main share index .DFMGI added 0.6%, with Aramex ARMX.DU jumping 4.8%, extending gains from the previous session, after a direct deal worth 1.41 billion dirhams ($384 million) for its 295 million shares.

However, Union Properties plunged 9.3%. The United Arab Emirates public prosecutor has begun investigating claims of financial irregularities made by the local securities regulator against executives of Union Properties, Reuters reported on Sunday, citing state-news agency WAM. 

The Qatari index added 0.1%, helped by a 2.1% rise in Qatar Gas Transport (Nakilat) QGTS.QA , rising for an eighth session in nine.

Last week, Nakilat, one of the world's largest shippers of liquefied natural gas, reported a net profit of QAR 1 billion riyals ($275 million) for the nine months ended Sept. 30, up from 899.5 million riyals a year ago. 

Employers in Qatar will be required to provide health insurance coverage for expatriates and their families under a new law issued by the emir this week, a senior Qatari official said on Thursday. 

Shares of Qatar Insurance traded 0.3% higher. ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham, 3.6400 Qatar riyals, 3.7507 Saudi riyals)

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


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