Mideast Stocks: Most major Gulf markets gain; Egypt retreats

Most major stock markets in the Gulf closed higher on Monday

  
An investor monitors an electronic board displaying stock information at the Dubai Financial Market June 13, 2013.

An investor monitors an electronic board displaying stock information at the Dubai Financial Market June 13, 2013.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Most major stock markets in the Gulf closed higher on Monday, with the Saudi index supported by petrochemical shares as oil demand recovers.

The Chief Executive of oil giant Saudi Aramco, Amin Nasser, said on Sunday that he sees oil demand recovering in Asia as economies gradually open up after the easing of coronavirus lockdowns. 

Brent crude was 31 cents, or 0.7%, higher at $44.71 a barrel by 1318 GMT. 

The kingdom’s main stock index edged up 0.1%, led by a 4.3% jump in Saudi Arabia Fertilizers and a 2.1% increase in Sahara International Petrochemical Company.

Aramco ticked up 0.2%. The state-owned company on Sunday reported a 73% plunge in profit for the second quarter, but stuck with plans to pay $75 billion in dividends this year.

Dubai's main share index traded flat, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties rising 0.4% and Dubai Islamic Bank, the United Arab Emirates' largest sharia-compliant lender, adding 0.3%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 0.5%, led by a 3.4% rise in aquaculture firm International Holding and a 0.4% gain in the country's largest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank.

The United Arab Emirates' central bank said on Saturday it was temporarily relaxing two key requirements to encourage banks to lend more to businesses under the COVID-19 economic stimulus plan. 

The Qatari index closed up 0.2%, supported by a 1.4% gain in petrochemical firm Industries Qatar.

Egypt's blue-chip index eased 0.2%, ending five sessions of gains, hurt by a 1.8% fall in top lender Commercial International Bank.

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

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