|23 September, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Protests continue to weigh on Egypt; major Gulf markets mixed

The blue-chip stock index fell 0.8% after Sunday's 5.4% plunge, its biggest since June 2016

Egypt's stocks market fell in early trade on Monday, extending the previous session's sharp drop after protests broke out over the weekend.

On Friday, hundreds of people protested in central Cairo and several other Egyptian cities against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, responding to an online call for a demonstration against government corruption.

The blue-chip stock index fell 0.8% after Sunday's 5.4% plunge, its biggest since June 2016.

Commercial International Bank declined 0.9% and Egypt Kuwait Holding lost 2.4%.

The broader stock index dropped 0.9%, hitting its lowest since May 2017, after shedding 5.7% in the previous session, its sharpest since November 2012.

Trading was halted on Sunday after the index slumped 5%, the first suspension for such a sharp move in prices since 2016.

In the Gulf, major stock markets were mixed, with Dubai adding 0.3% after four sessions of losses. Dubai Islamic Bank rose 1% and Emaar Properties  was up 0.6%.

Deyaar Development gained 1.2% following an update on a court judgement that came in favour of the company in a dispute related to a land purchase.

Abu Dhabi's index was down 0.6%, dragged by a 1.7% fall in market heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank.

But Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) rose 0.7% after the lender said the Egyptian regulator exempted it from making mandatory tender offer for Union National Bank's shares in UNB Egypt.

ADCB merged with Union National Bank and Al Hilal Bank in May this year.

Qatar's index was flat, with Mesaieed Petrochemical falling 2% and telecom operator Ooredoo rising 2.1%.

Saudi Arabia's stock market was closed for the National Day.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))

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