July 11, 2019 / 1:10 PM / 9 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks boost Saudi, while wide sell-off weighs down Egypt

    * 10 of 11 Saudi banks climb
    * Riyad Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi rise ahead of going
ex-dividend
    * Qatar's Nakilat, QNB up on Q2 earnings
    * Aldar Properties extends gains on contract
    * Kuwait rises for eleventh straight day

    By Ateeq Shariff
    July 11 (Reuters) - The Saudi stock market rose on Thursday
as nearly all its banks surged ahead of earnings announcements,
while Egypt dropped sharply with most blue-chips declining.
    The Saudi index gained 0.7% with 10 of its 11 banks
rising. Riyad Bank rose 1.6% and Banque Saudi Fransi
 added 0.6% before both go ex-dividend in the next
trading session. Investors will be entitled to the next dividend
pay-out as of Thursday.
    Saudi banks are expected to report strong second-quarter
earnings. Investment bank EFG Hermes forecast 7.6% growth
year-on-year in second-quarter profit for Saudi Arabia's
financial sector.
    Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance surged 1.9%
after it won a medical insurance contract worth over 5% of its
revenue last year.
    Egypt's blue-chip index decreased 1.4% as most of
its shares turned red, with Commercial International Bank
 shedding 1.6% and Ezz Steel slumping 7.7%
after swinging to a first quarter loss earlier this week.
    Exchange data on Thursday showed non-Arab foreigners were
net sellers of Egyptian stocks.
    In Qatar, the index reversed course to rise 0.6% with
Qatar Insurance up 3.1%, while Qatar Gas Transport
(Nakilat) rose 2.2% after posting 7% growth in
first-half net profit.
     The Gulf's largest bank, Qatar National Bank (QNB)
, edged up 0.2% after the lender reported a 4% increase
in first-half net profit.
    The Abu Dhabi index increased 0.5%, with First Abu
Dhabi Bank, the country's largest lender, ending 1.1%
higher and Aldar Properties up 2%. 
    On Wednesday, the property developer was awarded 5 billion
dirhams ($1.36 billion) of development projects from the Abu
Dhabi government.
    Kuwait's index closed 0.1% higher, as National Bank
of Kuwait gained 1.1% and Mobile Telecommunications Co
 rose 1.9%. 
    The index ended the session in positive territory for the
eleventh straight session, triggered by MSCI's decision to move
Kuwaiti equities to its main emerging-market index in 2020.

    Kuwait has outperformed its Gulf peers in anticipation of
the MSCI move and is up more than 28% year-to-date.
    The Dubai index eased 0.1% after rising as much as
0.6% earlier in the day, hurt by a 2.5% fall in Emaar Malls
 and a 0.4% drop in Emaar Properties.

 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         increased 0.7% to 8,968 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        rose 0.5% to 5,052 points
 DUBAI         The index          shed 0.1% to 2,686 points
 QATAR         The index        added 0.6% to 10,613 points
 EGYPT         The index          dropped 1.4% to 13,814 points
 BAHRAIN       The index        lost 0.2% to 1,537 points
 OMAN          The index        declined 0.1% to 3,808 points
 KUWAIT        The index        was up 0.1% at 6,777 points
 

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten
Donovan)
  
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