January 27, 2019 / 2:04 PM / 7 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt's EGX30 index rises, most Gulf markets firm

    DUBAI, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Gulf markets closed mainly higher
on Sunday thanks to strong financials, while Egypt's blue-chip
index rose sharply, helping it catch up with gains in
other emerging markets. 
    "Egypt is finally catching up with the risk-off trade
emerging markets are witnessing," said Mohammed al-Hajj, senior
macro strategy analyst at EFG Hermes, noting that the index was
up around 6 percent year-to-date compared with around 7 percent
for other emerging markets. 
    "There are also local drivers for the move such as the
continuation of positive macro figures and falling T-bill
yields," he added. 
    Saudi Arabia's index was up 0.9 percent lifted by
strong financials as Saudi Investment Bank rose 8.7
percent and Arab Bank rose 3.2 percent.
    Telecom operator Zain Saudi Arabia was also up 5.0
    Both United Arab Emirates markets closed on a high, with
Dubai's index up 0.9 percent and Abu Dhabi's index
 up 1.0 percent.
    Dubai's top bank Emirates NBD rose 2.0 percent,
and Emaar Malls rose 1.9 percent.
    Abu Dhabi's Union National Bank gained 6.1 percent and
developer Aldar Properties was up 2.6 percent.
    Qatar's index lost 0.4 percent, weighed down by the
industrial sector as Industries Qatar slipped another 1.8
percent and Qatar Fuel Co fell 0.8 percent.
    Kuwait's market lost 1.2 percent, dragged lower by
the performance of Kuwait Finance House which was down
3.2 percent. The bank recently announced a $7 million deal to
acquire Ahli United Bank, which was up 0.9 percent.
    "The Kuwait market was under pressure post the ...
announcement for Kuwait Finance House and Ahli United Bank
merger which was not very favourable for KFH," said Sanat
Sachar, equity research analyst at Al Mal Capital. "This led to
strong profit taking in the name which pulled the whole market
 SAUDI       The index         added 0.9 pct to
 ARABIA      8,509 points
 DUBAI       The index          added 1.0 pct to
             2,540 points
 QATAR       The index        lost 0.4 pct to
             10,668 points
 ABU DHABI   The index        added 0.03 pct to
             5,021 points
 EGYPT       The index          added 2.3 percent
             to 13,817 points
 KUWAIT      The index        lost 1.2 pct to
             5,426 points
 OMAN        The index        lost 0.3 pct to
             4,166 points
 BAHRAIN     The index        added 1.2 pct to
             1,391 points
 (Reporting by Tuqa Khalid; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)
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