March 31, 2019 / 1:13 PM / 6 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Abu Dhabi slips further, banks support Saudi market

    DUBAI, March 31 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the Gulf were
mixed on Sunday with Abu Dhabi experiencing losses after some
shares traded ex-dividend last week, while the Saudi market was
lifted by the banking sector.
    The Saudi index added 0.4 percent, with Al Rajhi
Banking & Investment Corporation up 1.7 percent and
registering the highest trading volume on Sunday.
    In a research note, Dubai-based Arqaam Capital said it
expects credit growth to strengthen in Saudi Arabia this year, a
positive for the banking sector.
    Banks such as National Commercial Bank, the merged
entity combining Saudi British Bank and Alawwal Bank
, and Banque Saudi Fransi are seen "as best
positioned to benefit from the new corporate growth
opportunities in the second half of the year, while Al Rajhi
should remain ahead in consumer lending," Arqaam said.
    Abu Dhabi's index shed 0.5 percent with heavyweight
First Abu Dhabi Bank falling 0.4 percent and Abu Dhabi
Commercial Bank (ADCB) losing 1.6 percent.
    Last week, blue-chip Aldar Properties led the
drop, shedding 5.7 percent as it traded ex-dividend. The stock
was little changed on Sunday.
    Dana Gas added 1.1 percent after announcing it had
received $19 million from Egypt. 
    The Dubai index added 0.1 percent, lifted by
heavyweight Emaar Properties, which gained 2.1 percent
and was the most heavily traded stock on Sunday.
    In Qatar, the index fell 0.4 percent as Masraf Al
Rayan gave up 1.8 percent, Qatar International Islamic
Bank lost 2.9 percent, and Barwa Real Estate
fell 1.8 percent. 
    Commercial Bank gained 2.3 percent.  
 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         rose 0.4 pct to 8,819 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        lost 0.5 pct to 5,075 points
 DUBAI         The index          rose 0.1 pct to 2,635 points
 QATAR         The index        lost 0.4 pct at 10,107 points
 EGYPT         The index          rose 0.5 pct to 14,744 points
 KUWAIT        The index        rose 0.5 pct to 5,987 points
 OMAN          The index        fell 0.6 pct to 3,984 points
 BAHRAIN       The index        was flat at 1,413 points

 (Reporting by Davide Barbuscia and Alexander Cornwell; Editing
by Susan Fenton)
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