Mideast Stocks: Saudi rises for second straight session as Abu Dhabi winning streak ends

SABIC falls on lowest quarterly profit since 2009

  
Investors monitor screens displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange June 25, 2014. Image for illustrative purposes

Investors monitor screens displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange June 25, 2014. Image for illustrative purposes

REUTERS/Stringer

DUBAI- Financial shares helped lift Saudi Arabia's stock market for a second consecutive session on Sunday, while top lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) weighed on the Abu Dhabi bourse, bringing an eight-session streak of gains to an end.

The Saudi index rose 0.5% with Al Rajhi Bank and Riyad Bank gaining 1% and 3.1% respectively. National Commercial Bank ended the day 0.6% higher.

Saudi Basic Industries Co (SABIC), the world's fourth-biggest petrochemicals firm, fell 0.7% after reporting its lowest quarterly profit since late 2009.

The market heavyweight blamed the profit drop on lower average selling prices and a decrease in the share of contributions from associates and joint ventures.

Its Chief Executive Yousef al-Benyan said SABIC has no interest in taking over Swiss chemicals firm Clariant but remains keen on a partnership once market conditions improve. 

SABIC, which owns a 25% stake in the Swiss firm, and Clariant said on Thursday they had shelved plans for a joint venture, which Benyan said was due to changes in market conditions.

The Gulf's largest miner Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma'aden) fell 2.6%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index was the worst performer in the region, losing 0.7% as the United Arab Emirates biggest lender, FAB, fell 1.1% and telecom Etisalat dropped 0.6%.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the country's second biggest lender, did not trade but reported an 11% drop in second quarter profit.

It was the first combined proforma financials after ADCB merged with two smaller banks – Union National Bank and Al Hilal Bank.

Dubai's index fell 0.2%, weighed down by blue chips Emaar Properties and Emirates NBD which lost 1.3% and 0.4% respectively.

Logistics company Aramex rose 2.5% and Dubai Islamic Bank gained 0.6%.

Qatar was also weaker, with the index  losing 0.6% as the region's largest lender Qatar National Bank fell 1% and petrochemicals and metals company Industries Qatar dropped 0.7%.

The index saw some support from Ooredoo which rose 1.8%.

(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Susan Fenton) ((Alexander.Cornwell@ThomsonReuters.com))

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