December 9, 2019 / 2:19 PM / a month ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most of Gulf drops; bank shares lift Saudi index

    * Nine of eleven Saudi banks gain
    * Sipchem surges on share buyback proposal
    * Qatar snaps a four-day winning streak
    * 23 of thirty stocks in Egypt decline

    By Ateeq Shariff
    Dec 9 (Reuters) - Most Gulf stock markets were in the red on
Monday with Qatar leading losses as oil prices fell, while gains
in banking shares supported the Saudi index.
    Oil prices dropped on Monday after data showed Chinese
exports declined for a fourth straight month, sending jitters
through a market already concerned about damage to global demand
by the trade war between Washington and Beijing.
    In Saudi Arabia, the benchmark index rose a further
0.3%, a day after it saw its biggest gain in a year.
    On Sunday, the index climbed 2.4% as the kingdom spearheaded
a deal on Friday where OPEC and its allies agreed to extend
production cuts by 500,000 barrels per day to support oil
prices.
    National Commercial Bank gained 2.2% and Samba
Financial Group increased 2.3%.
    Elsewhere, Sahara International Petrochemical (Sipchem)
 jumped 4.2% after it's board proposed to purchase up
to 10% of ordinary shares and hold them as treasury shares.
    Qassim Cement climbed 4.1% following its board
proposal for a third-quarter cash dividend of 1 riyal per share.
    Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco is listing its shares on
Wednesday on the Saudi exchange after completing the largest IPO
on record.
    Aramco priced its IPO at 32 riyals ($8.53) per share, the
top of its indicative range, the company said in a statement
last week, raising $25.6 billion and beating Alibaba Group
Holding Ltd's record $25 billion listing in
2014.
    However, the Qatari index lost 1%, snapping four
straight days of gains, as declining stocks on the index
outnumbered the gainers.
    The Gulf's largest lender Qatar National Bank
retreated 2.4%, whereas Industries Qatar was down
1.9%.
    In Dubai, the index fell 0.4% with Emaar Properties
 shedding 1.5% and logistic firm Aramex down
2.5%.
    The Abu Dhabi index was also down 0.4% as telecoms
firm Etisalat closed 0.9% down, while Abu Dhabi
Commercial Bank ended down 1.1%.
    Egypt's blue-chip index decreased 0.4% with 23 of
its 30 stocks declining. EFG Hermes slid 3.4% and
Eastern Company eased 1.3%.
    Exchange data on Monday showed foreign investors as net
sellers of Egyptian stocks.
    
    ** Bahrain was closed for a public holiday.
    
 SAUDI ARABIA          rose 0.3% to 8,120 points
 ABU DHABI            fell 0.4% to 5,023 points
 DUBAI                  down 0.4% to 2,684 points
 QATAR                declined 1% to 10,277 points
 EGYPT                  down 0.4% to 13,443 points
 OMAN                 slipped 0.1% to 4,021 points
 KUWAIT               added 0.6% to 6,747 points
 
 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard
Orr)
  
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