Mideast Stocks: Most nearly unchanged; Abu Dhabi gains on Etisalat boost

The Abu Dhabi benchmark index rose 0.8%


Most major Gulf markets were little changed in early trade on Tuesday, while gains in telecoms firm Etisalat's stock led Abu Dhabi shares higher.

The Abu Dhabi benchmark index rose 0.8%, buoyed by a 2.5% leap in Emirates Telecommunications (Etisalat), after its Egyptian unit Etisalat Misr and Telecom Egypt signed transmission and mobile-to-fixed interconnection agreements on Monday.

The deal will enable Etisalat Misr to continue delivering premium offers and mobile telecommunications services to customers in Egypt.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index was up 0.2%, after the central bank said on Monday that it had provided 50 billion riyals ($13.32 billion) to support liquidity in the banking sector to boost consumer spending hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

Al Rajhi Bank gained 1% and petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries was up 1.3%.

Qatar's benchmark index ticked up 0.2%, with Qatar Gas Transport rising 2.6%.

Dubai's main share index edged up 0.1%, with budget airliner Air Arabia  advancing 3.7%.

The UAE, which had suspended entry of non-Emirati residents on March 19, said last month it would soon start allowing in those with valid residencies stranded abroad whose families are in the UAE.

The state news agency had said residents with relatives in the UAE could start returning as of June 1.

($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals)

($1 = 3.7530 riyals)

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

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