June 24, 2019 / 8:32 AM / 5 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia falls for a fourth day on Gulf concerns

June 24 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market dropped for a fourth straight day on Monday as geopolitical concerns in the Gulf region weighed.

Yemen’s Houthi movement attacked Abha airport in southern Saudi Arabia on Sunday, killing one person and wounding 21 others, the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said.

And tensions between Iran and the United States remained high after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. would announce “significant” sanctions against Tehran.

Saudi’s index fell 0.8% with nearly all its banks slipping. The kingdom’s largest lender National Commercial Bank dropped 1.8%, while its biggest petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries was down 1.2%.

Telecommunications operator Zain Saudi plunged 4.9% after a sale and leaseback of its communication towers was cancelled as the buyer IHS Holding was denied a license from the telecoms regulator.

In Dubai, the index was up 0.3% boosted by real estate stocks. Blue-chip developer Emaar Properties climbed 2%, while builder Arabtec Holding increased 2.7% after on of its unit secured additional 315 million dirhams ($85.77 million) in a contract from Tecnicas Reunidas.

The Abu Dhbai index was up 0.2%, lifted by a 1.6% gain in Aldar Properties and a 0.3% rise in First Abu Dhabi Bank, the United Arab Emirates’ largest lender.

Qatar’s index edged down 0.1% with the market heavyweight lender slipping 0.7% and Commercial Bank shedding 1.2%. ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) (Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru Editing by Alexander Smith)

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