|01 December, 2019

Mideast Stocks - Saudi rises on corporate news, other Gulf markets also gain

Markets gained grounds with news of Qatar's foreign minister's unannounced visit to Riyadh

A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018.

A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Saudi Arabian shares rose in early trade on Sunday on the back of corporate news, as all major Gulf markets gained ground.

Supporting the region's markets was the news that Qatar's foreign minister had made an unannounced visit to Riyadh, two sources told Reuters.

The visit signals that a 2-1/2-year rift between U.S.-allied Gulf Arab states could soon subside, reviving trade activities between Gulf states.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar in June 2017, accusing Doha of backing terrorism. Qatar denies the charge and accuses its neighbours of seeking to curtail its sovereignty.

In Saudi Arabia, the benchmark index rose 0.4% with Al Rajhi Bank gaining 0.5% and Saudi Telecom rising 0.8%.

Insurer SABB Takaful advanced 2.6% after being awarded an insurance contract by Saudi British Bank, amounting to more than 1% of the insurer's annual revenue.

Al Hokair Group gained 1.5% after its board on Thursday approved a reduction in accumulated losses to 1.1% of capital by using the entire statutory reserve of 71.7 million riyals ($19.12 million).

Ataa Educational rose 0.9% after the company signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with a unit of Kingdom Holding to acquire 92.1% stake in Kingdom Schools Ltd.

In Qatar, the index opened up 0.3%, ending a third straight session of losses as the Gulf's largest lender Qatar National Bank gained 0.8% and Qatar Electricity And Water was up 1.6%.

The Kuwait index rose 1.2% with Kuwait Financial House advancing 2.6% and Boubyan Bank adding 1.2%.

The Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock markets are closed for three-day public holidays and will resume trading on Dec. 4.

($1 = 3.7500 riyals)

(Reporting by Shamsuddin Mohd in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fenton) ((shamsuddin.mohd@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497252;))

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