June 17, 2019 / 8:06 AM / a month ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks lift Saudi stocks; other major Gulf markets mixed

June 17 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market rebounded on Monday, led by its banking shares, while other major Gulf stocks were mixed after last week’s oil tanker attacks.

The United States blamed Iran for attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, driving up oil prices and raising fears of a new U.S.-Iranian confrontation. Tehran denied the allegation.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Saturday urged the international community to take a “decisive stand” but said Riyadh does not want a war.

The Saudi index gained 0.4%. Al Rajhi Bank rose 0.6% and National Commercial Bank gained 0.3% after JP Morgan raised their target prices.

But Saudi British Bank dropped 1%. On Sunday, the bank announced that its merger with Alawwal Bank was completed.

The two have combined to create the country’s third largest bank, becoming a single listed company after regulatory approvals. Alawwal Bank was flat.

Qatar’s index declined 0.3%, led by a 0.9% drop in Industries Qatar and a 1.3% fall in Barwa Real Estate .

In Dubai, the index edged up 0.1% with telecom operator Emirates Integrated Telecommunications adding 1.6%. The company said on Sunday the United Arab Emirates’ sovereign wealth fund, Emirates Investment Authority, had increased its stake by buying 463.3 million shares from Mamoura Diversified Global Holding and General Investments.

The Abu Dhabi index was flat. First Abu Dhabi Bank was up 0.3%.

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King

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