Mideast Stocks: Petrochemicals lift Saudi shares, Qatar rises on banks

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index edged up 0.1%

  
A man checks his mobile phone next to a screen with Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) prices in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

A man checks his mobile phone next to a screen with Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) prices in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

Saudi Arabia's main stock market index rose for a sixth consecutive session on Sunday as gains in petrochemical shares overshadowed losses in oil giant Aramco, while Qatar was boosted by financials.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index edged up 0.1% with Al Rajhi Bank gaining 0.6% while National Industrialization (National Industrialization7) National Industrialization4 was up 4.3%.

Among other stocks, Saudi Vitrified Clay Pipe surged 10% after its board proposed a 1 riyal per share dividend for the second half. 

Saudi Aramco's shares, however, fell for a fourth-day in a row, to close 0.6% down at 35.3 riyals ($9.41).

Last week, Aramco was included in the MSCI, Saudi Tadawul index and FTSE benchmark.

In Qatar, the index added 1.3% after the market reopened after a four-day break, the Gulf's largest lender Qatar National Bank  climbed 2.9% and Industries Qatar ended up 1.8%.

Last Week, Qatar announced its biggest budget in five years. The Gulf state said it would spend 1.9% more in 2020 than this year, outlining a 210.5 billion Qatari riyal ($57.81 billion) budget to complete infrastructure projects including facilities for the 2022 soccer World Cup. 

Egypt's blue-chip index closed 0.4% higher as the country's largest lender, Commercial International Bank, gained 1%, and EFG Hermes was up 0.9%.

EFG Hermes said on Sunday it and GB Auto will acquire a majority stake in Tokio Marine Egypt Family Takaful. 

In Abu Dhabi, the index retreated 0.3%, as market heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank lost 0.8% and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank dropped 2.2%.

Dubai's index was also down 0.2%, with Dubai's largest lender Emirates NBD Bank falling 1.9% and developer Emaar Properties  down 1%.

However, the index saw support from Dubai Islamic Bank, as it was up 1.1%. On Wednesday, the sharia-compliant lender received shareholder approval to acquire unlisted Dubai-based Noor Bank.

($1 = 3.6415 Qatar riyals)

($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirham)

($1 = 3.7511 riyals)

(Reporting by Shamsuddin Mohd in Bengaluru; editing by Emelia Sihtole-Matarise) ((shamsuddin.mohd@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497252;))

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