July 23, 2018 / 8:49 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises on positive results; modest gains in other markets

RIYADH, July 23 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose in early Monday trade as positive quarterly earnings pushed investors to take positions ahead of more announcements this week, while other markets were mixed.

The Saudi index rose 0.2 percent, backed by a 5.6 percent jump in petrochemicals company Saudi Kayan and a 0.7 percent rise in heavyweight lender Al Rajhi Bank .

Kayan, 35 percent owned by petrochemicals giant SABIC , said on Sunday its net profit jumped to 878.7 million riyals ($234.3 million) in the three months to June 30 from 242 million riyals in the same period a year earlier.

Shares in SABIC added 0.2 percent. Two sources told Reuters on Monday that Saudi Aramco aims to buy a controlling stake in the company, possibly taking the entire 70 percent stake owned by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

In Dubai, the index rose 0.2 percent, backed by solid gains in property shares Emaar and DAMAC , which rose 1.6 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co, also known as du, added 1 percent, recovering from Sunday’s 0.6 percent decline.

The company on Thursday posted a 1.3 percent rise in second-quarter net profit, buoyed by an increase in fixed-line revenue.

The Abu Dhabi index was flat with muted trading on a select number of shares.

First Abu Dhabi Bank rose 0.4 percent while Emirates Telecom lost 0.6 percent.

In Qatar, the main index rose 0.3 percent, backed by a 1.8 percent increase in Qatar National Bank. Qatar Gas Transport and Doha Bank lost 0.8 percent each. ($1 = 3.7503 riyals) (Reporting by Marwa Rashad; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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