September 18, 2018 / 2:45 PM / in 3 months

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks lifted by oil rise, SABIC-Clariant partnership

* SABIC gains 1.5 pct on details of Clariant partnership

* Al Tayyar Travel up on Saudi tourism hopes

* Egypt recovers after tumbling on manipulation case

* Emirates NBD, Aramex weigh on Dubai

By Tom Arnold

DUBAI, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market closed higher on Tuesday, buoyed by rising oil prices and more details on Saudi Basic Industries Corp’s (SABIC) partnership with Switzerland’s Clariant.

Other Gulf markets closed mostly lower.

In Egypt, the stock index was flat, closing up 0.02 percent after tumbling to its lowest level this year on Monday due to fallout from the arrest of ousted President Hosni Mubarak’s two sons on charges of stock market manipulation.

Other Gulf markets were generally lower after Washington announced new tariffs on Chinese imports, escalating trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

SABIC rose by 1.5 percent after the company and Clariant said they will merge their high-performance materials businesses and install a SABIC manager as head of the group as they strengthen their partnership. The world’s number four chemical firm bought a 24.9 percent stake in Clariant earlier this year.

Al Tayyar Travel jumped by the 10 percent daily limit in early trade, buoyed by signs that the kingdom’s Red Sea tourism project is moving ahead.

The developer of the project, which could boost foreign tourism to Saudi Arabia, said on Monday that it had appointed an international advisory board, including British billionaire Richard Branson.

Al Tayyar Travel shares closed up 7.4 percent.

Elsewhere, Saudi British Bank rose by 3.2 percent and Arab National Bank climbed by 2.7 percent.

The Saudi index closed 0.4 percent up.

Stocks in the kingdom were also boosted by a firming of oil prices on signs that OPEC would not be prepared to raise output to address declining supplies from Iran and as Saudi Arabia signalled it was in no rush to bring prices down.

Brent crude futures were up 1.6 percent a barrel to $79.33 a barrel in early afternoon London trading.

Emirates NBD weighed on the Dubai index, closing 1.1 percent lower. Aramex was also a drag, shedding 4.2 percent.

The Dubai index finished 0.3 percent lower.

In Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank closed 3.3 percent down. The bank’s acting chief executive told Reuters on Tuesday that it expected to increase lending in 2018 after boosting its capital. The largest sharia-compliant lender in Abu Dhabi expects single-digit percentage growth in profit this year, Khamis Buharoon al-Shamsi said. This compares with growth of 18 percent in 2017.

The main index finished 0.1 percent lower. ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index gained 0.4 percent to 7,643 points.

DUBAI

* The index shed 0.3 percent to 2,743 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index lost 0.1 percent to 4,877 points.

QATAR

* The index lost 0.09 percent to 9,824 points.

KUWAIT

* The index edged down 0.1 percent to 5,339 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index increased 0.08 percent to 1,340 points.

OMAN

* The index lost 0.5 percent to 4,496 points.

EGYPT

* The index rose 0.02 percent to 14,654 points.

Additional reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Susan Fenton

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