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Ateeq Shariff

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt extends losses amid uncertainty over protests

9:19am EDT

* EGX 100 hits its lowest in over 2 years * All but one property stocks gain in Dubai * Most financial shares slide in Qatar By Ateeq Shariff and Shamsuddin Mohd Sept 23 Egyptian stocks closed lower on Monday, stretching last session's sharp fall following protests which broke out in several Egyptian cities over the weekend. On Friday, hundreds of people rallied in central Cairo and several other Egyptian cities against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, responding to an online call for a demonstration against government corruption. Egyptian authorities have detained at least 373 people as they try to quash the rare outbreak of protest, rights monitors said on Monday. The blue-chip stock index fell 1.5% with Commercial International Bank declining 3.5% and Talaat Mostafa Holding plunging 7.6%. The fall added to the index's previous session loss of 5.3%, its biggest single-day fall since mid-2016 with all its stocks slipping into the red. Non-Arab foreigners were net sellers, according to the stock exchange. The broader stock index EGX 100 also traded 1.7% lower, hitting its deepest trough since April 2017. The EGX 100 index slumped 5.7% on Sunday, the most in one day since November 2012, causing trading to be suspended due to a 5% swing for the first time since 2016. In Dubai, the index snapped a four-day losing streak to rise 0.7%, led by property and banking stocks. Blue-chip developer Emaar Properties gained 1.1% and Dubai Islamic Bank added 1%. Property developer Deyaar Development advanced 1.2% after an update on a court judgement in a land purchase dispute that came in favour of the company. Abu Dhabi's index was down 0.9%, with market heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank slipping 1.4% and Emirates Telecommunications Group dropping 1.1%. Extending losses for a fourth straight day, Qatar's index ended 0.8% lower with the Gulf’s largest insurer Qatar Insurance Company declining 4.5%, while Mesaieed Petrochemical was down 3.3%. Saudi Arabia's stock market was closed for National Day. ABU DHABI The index lost 0.9% to 5,075 points DUBAI The index was up 0.7% at 2,835 points QATAR The index slid 0.8% to 10,363 points EGYPT The index down 1.5% to 13,753 points BAHRAIN The index added 0.5% to 1,519 points OMAN The index gained 1% to 4,007 points KUWAIT The index rose 1.1% to 6,254 points (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff and Shamsuddin Mohd in Bengaluru Editing by Mark Heinrich)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks gain ahead of joining FTSE Russel and S&P Dow Jones indexes

Sep 19 2019

* Saudi's petchems rise after feedstock supply improves * Bank Albilad sees biggest gain in 4 years * Most of financial shares slide in Abu Dhabi * Telecom shares weigh on Qatar * Real estate and banks move sideways in Egypt By Ateeq Shariff and Shamsuddin Mohd Sept 19 Saudi Arabia's stock market rose sharply on Thursday ahead of their inclusion in FTSE Russell and S&P Dow Jones emerging market indexes next week, which are expected to attract billions of dollars in passive funds. Saudi stocks will see fourth tranche inclusion in FTSE Russell and the second and final tranche entry into S&P Dow Jones as an emerging market starting on September 23. Saudi stocks initially joined the two indexes earlier this year. The market was also supported by news that Saudi oil supply was uninterrupted despite weekend attacks on the kingdom's oil facilities and by a cut in Saudi interest rates. Saudi Arabia said it continues to supply oil to its customers from its stockpiles and the attacks would have "zero impact" on government revenues. The Saudi index ended 1.4% higher with Al Rajhi Bank gaining 2% and Bank Albilad surging 8%, its biggest intraday gain since August 2015. The central banks of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which peg their currencies to the U.S. dollar, cut interest rates on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve lowered U.S. rates, which Saudi officials said should help the country's banks by boost lending. Petrochemical stocks also rose, extending their gains from Wednesday after saying their feedstock supplies from Aramco had significantly improved. Saudi Basic Industries climbed 2%, while Saudi Arabia Fertilizers leapt 5.5%. However, the tensions in Middle East weighed on other regional markets after Saudi Arabia presented what it called "undeniable" evidence of Iranian links to the Aramco attacks. In Abu Dhabi, the index eased 0.6%, with the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank losing 0.8% and Abu Dhabi Commercial bank shedding 2.5%. Qatar's index was down 0.3%, led by a 6.5% plunge in Ooredoo and a 2.2% drop in Masraf Al Rayan. In Dubai, the index slipped 0.1%, extending losses for a third-day consecutively. Dubai Islamic Bank, the United Arab Emirates' largest sharia-compliant lender, lost 1.9% and Emirates NBDDU> ended 1.1% lower. Egypt's blue-chip index traded flat as gains in the real estate sector were marred by financial shares. Talaat Mostafa hiked 3.9%, while Commercial International Bank dropped 0.9%. SAUDI ARABIA The index rose 1.4% to 7,927 points ABU DHABI The index lost 0.6% to 5,125 points DUBAI The index slipped 0.1% to 2,820 points QATAR The index slid 0.3% to 10,512 points EGYPT The index was flat at 14,742 points BAHRAIN The index edged up 0.1% to 1,490 points OMAN The index declined 0.6% to 3,992 points KUWAIT The index was up 1.3% at 6,010 points (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff and Shamsuddin Mohd in Bengaluru, Editing by William Maclean)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks stumble as Aramco oil supply disruption felt

Sep 17 2019

* SABIC slides as goes ex-dividend * All property shares slide in Dubai * 26 of 30 stocks on Egypt index fall * Financial shares weak in Qatar By Ateeq Shariff and Shamsuddin Mohd Sept 17 Saudi Arabian shares fell on Tuesday, with petrochemical stocks under pressure after the weekend attacks on Saudi Aramco's oil facilities disrupted the kingdom's oil supply. Saudi Arabia's stock index declined 0.7%, with the Gulf's largest petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) dropping 3.2% as the firm traded ex-dividend. In addition, SABIC and other petrochemicals firms announced significant reductions in their feedstock supplies following Saturday's attacks on the Aramco facilities. Saudi Arabia has shut down its crude oil pipeline to Bahrain and Aramco informed PetroChina that its loadings of light crude oil for October will be delayed by about 10 days. Moreover, at least two refined product tankers that were due to load at Saudi Arabia's Jubail port in mid to late September have been diverted. Saudi Aramco is pressing ahead with meetings with bankers this week over its planned domestic listing, sources told Reuters although some investors and analysts doubt it can now meet its timeline after the weekend attacks. Among other Saudi stocks, Riyad Bank and National Commercial Bank were down 3.7% and 0.9% respectively. Among other Middle East markets, Egypt's blue-chip index dropped 1.5%, with 26 of thirty stocks declining. The country's largest lender Commercial International Bank shed 0.5% and Qalaa Holdings plunged 7.9%. In Dubai, the index lost 1%, led by blue-chip developer Emaar Properties which was down 3%, while Dubai Islamic Bank closed 0.9% lower. Dubai house prices will decline sharply this year and next, according to property market experts in a Reuters poll conducted earlier in September. The experts said a slowdown in the economy and an oversupply of housing units are big downside risks to their already weak outlook. Property prices have contracted by 25-35% since a mid-2014 peak and there will be no respite until 2022 at least, the poll showed. While a recently announced government stimulus package could spur a recovery in the real estate market, the chances are high an over-supply of housing units would hurt prices and demand. Qatar's index slipped 0.4%, driven down by a 1.4% fall in Qatar Islamic Bank and a 2.7% drop in Qatar Insurance Company. In Abu Dhabi, the index edged up 0.2%, with the United Arab Emirates' largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank gaining 1%. SAUDI ARABIA The index fell 0.7% to 7,771 points ABU DHABI The index edged up 0.2% to 5,171 points DUBAI The index dropped 1% to 2,850 points QATAR The index slid 0.4% to 10,471 points EGYPT The index down 1.5% to 14,752 points BAHRAIN The index lost 0.7% to 1,514 points OMAN The index slipped 0.2% to 4,001 points KUWAIT The index was down 0.5% at 6,070 points (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff and Shamsuddin Mohd in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexander Smith)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Emirates NBD's gains support Dubai, Egypt up on financials

Sep 05 2019

* Emirates NBD extends rally on foreign ownership * All but one property shares slide in Dubai * Emaar falls for the third straight session * Financials strong in Egypt By Ateeq Shariff Sept 5 The Dubai stock market rose on Thursday, mainly helped by its largest lender Emirates NBD, while Egypt rebounded on the back of financials. Dubai's index closed 0.4% up, with Emirates NBD increasing 1.5% and Dubai Islamic Bank, the United Arab Emirates’ largest sharia-compliant lender, adding 0.6%. Emirates NBD has been rising since Monday after it raised its foreign ownership limit to 20% from 5%. But developers capped the gains with Emaar Properties , the emirate's largest listed developer, sliding 0.8% extending losses for a third day in a row. The realtor's chairman said on Wednesday he did not expect a change in the company's business after Dubai's ruler set up a new real estate committee to regulate and control market supply. Dubai's property prices have contracted by 25-35% since a mid-2014 peak and will continue to decline sharply this year and next, as a slowdown in the economy and an oversupply of housing units pose big downside risks to already weak outlook of real estate sector in the Emirate, a Reuters poll showed. The Egyptian blue-chip index was up 0.6% with its biggest bank, Commercial International Bank, rising 1.6%, while Eastern Company advancing 3.3%. Last month, Egypt reported its lowest headline inflation rate in nearly four years, and its central bank cut interest rates by 150 basis points on Thursday. Egypt's index is up 14.6% so far this year, beating most regional markets. The Saudi index slipped 0.1%, driven down by a 0.9% fall in market heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries and a 1% drop in Saudi Telecom Company. Saudi Arabia may have to revise down economic growth estimates as lower crude output and tumbling oil prices take their toll on economic activity, with some economists forecasting a contraction this year in the world's biggest oil exporter, Reuters reported on Wednesday. The Saudi central bank forecast economic growth of at least 2% this year but economists now expect marginal growth at best or a slight shrinkage, its second in two years. The Abu Dhabi index lost 0.2% as Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank ended 1.5% lower. Qatar's index also ended lower to close at 0.4% down with Qatar National Bank, the Gulf's largest lender by assets, falling 1.2% and Qatar Islamic Bank down 1%. SAUDI ARABIA The index slipped 0.1% to 8,055 points ABU DHABI The index lost 0.2% to 5,114 points DUBAI The index gained 0.4% to 2,891 points QATAR The index slid 0.4% to 10,253 points EGYPT The index up 0.6% to 14,933 points BAHRAIN The index added 0.6% to 1,551 points OMAN The index dropped 0.3% to 3,998 points KUWAIT The index was flat at 6,547 points (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks boost Saudi index; wide sell-off weighs on Egypt

Sep 04 2019

* Saudi index sees biggest gain in nearly 3 months * All Saudi lenders ended higher * In Egypt 23 of thirty stocks slide * Emirates NBD extends gains on foreign ownership * Qatar ends four-day winning streak By Ateeq Shariff Sept 4 Saudi Arabia's stock market rose sharply on Wednesday, with all its banks gaining amid advancing oil prices on positive news from China's services sector, while Egypt's index ended lower as most of its blue-chip stocks dropped. Oil prices were up boosted by a wider market pickup, after three days of losses on lingering concern about a weakening global economy. Global markets rebounded after a private survey showed that activity in China's services sector expanded at the fastest pace in three months in August as new orders rose, prompting the biggest increase in hiring in over a year. In Saudi, the index advanced 1.7%, for its biggest intraday gain since June 10. Al Rajhi Bank was up 2.7% and National Commercial Bank, the country's largest lender, surged 4.7%. Saudi gym network operator Leejam Sports gained 0.6% after it announced a 0.5 riyal ($0.1333) per share dividend for the second quarter. Egypt's blue-chip index dropped 1.1%, with 23 of thirty stocks declining. The country's largest lender Commercial International Bank fell 0.7% and Talat Mostafa climbed 3.2%. Palm Hills Development added 1.3% after the firm reported a higher second quarter profit. In Dubai the index edged up 0.1%, changing its course to close higher, with Emirates NBD gaining 0.7%, extending its gains for a third day in a row. On Monday, the lender had soared 14.9%, reaching its highest level since October 2007, following the bank's announcement it would raise foreign ownership limit to 20% from 5% with immediate effect. The lender also said it intends to raise that limit to 40% in future. Arabtec Holding ended 1.7% higher, the top gainer on the index, after the developer said it is willing to explore possibility of entering into a cooperation agreement in construction sector with Trojan Holding. In a separate disclosure to the bourse the firm also announced appointment of Wail Farsakh as chief operating officer. However, major stocks in real estate division capped the gains with Emaar Properties shedding 0.2% and DAMAC Properties losing 1%. On Monday, Dubai set up a real estate planning commission to regulate projects and avoid competition between semi-government and private firms, in a move designed to address the property market slump. Heavy oversupply in the property market, an important sector of Dubai's economy, has seen residential prices slide by at least a quarter since mid-2014. The Abu Dhabi index added 0.4% led by a 0.9% rise in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 1.4% gain in Aldar Properties In Qatar, the index edged down 0.1%, to snap a four-day winning streak, with market heavyweight Industries Qatar declining 1.5%. SAUDI ARABIA The index rose 1.7% to 8,058 points ABU DHABI The index gained 0.4% to 5,125 points DUBAI The index edged up 0.1% to 2,880 points QATAR The index slid 0.1% to 10,295 points EGYPT The index down 1.1% to 14,841 points BAHRAIN The index lost 0.1% to 1,542 points OMAN The index slipped 0.1% to 4,012 points KUWAIT The index was down 0.2% at 6,546 points ($1 = 3.7498 riyals) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Frances Kerry)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks slide as funds turn bearish

Aug 28 2019

* All Saudi banks fall * Egypt hits 4-month high * Financials boost Egypt * Emaar aids Dubai By Ateeq Shariff Aug 28 Saudi Arabia's stock market fell sharply on Wednesday with all its banking shares dropping as receding fund inflows dampened investor appetite on a day when second phase of Saudi stocks joined the MSCI emerging markets index. EFG Hermes said in a note on Wednesday the investment case for Saudi banks is no longer 'compelling' in their view on the backdrop of receding passive flows, rates becoming a headwind, and the emergence of credit quality concerns. "We think Saudi can drift lower, before finding a support above the 8k mark. Stock picking would be the name of the game hereon and companies that deliver good results shall outperform the broader Index," said Vrajesh Bhandari, senior portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital. Sixty percent of fund mangers said they would decrease their investments in Saudi Arabia, displaying bearishness that has carried over from last month. The Saudi index declined 1.4% with Al Rajhi Bank losing 2% and the country's largest lender National Commercial Bank decreasing 2.4%. A second batch of Saudi shares was added to the MSCI emerging markets index on Wednesday after the country's stocks were first included in the index in May. "Saudi Arabia has attracted $18 billion in foreign portfolio equity inflows so far this year, as foreign investors have significantly increased their exposure to Saudi equities ahead of upgrade," the Institute Of International Finance (IIF) said in a note. IIF added that inflows to Saudi Arabia would have been even higher if not for concerns about global trade and the escalation of regional tensions. Egypt's blue-chip index surged 2.2%, to reach its highest level since May, as most of its shares traded in green territory. Commercial International Bank jumped 4.3% and EFG Hermes was up 6.3%. Middle Eastern funds plan to increase their investments in Egypt and UAE and decrease allocations in Saudi Arabia, while keeping their exposure to other countries in the region at current levels, according to a Reuters poll. In Dubai, the index added 0.2% with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties increasing 1%. Qatari index and Abu Dhabi's index traded flat. In the previous session the duo had risen 2.5% and 2.7% respectively. "It is interesting that both UAE & Qatar saw net foreign inflows yesterday, when the MSCI rebalancing lowered the weights of these markets," Bhandari said. SAUDI ARABIA The index dropped 1.4% to 8,171 points ABU DHABI The index was flat at 5,129 points DUBAI The index rose 0.2% to 2,758 points QATAR The index traded flat at 10,025 points EGYPT The index up 2.2% to 14,596 points BAHRAIN The index lost 0.2% to 1,534 points OMAN The index gained 0.5% to 3,973 points KUWAIT The index was up 0.2% at 6,542 points (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Frances Kerry)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf markets sag on escalating U.S.-China trade war

Aug 06 2019

* Qatar's Mesaieed drops after poor H1 earnings * Nine of eleven Saudi banks decline * SABB decreased after posting Q2 losses * Bank of Sharjah falls the most in over a decade * Egypt Kuwait Holding surges on nod from authorities By Ateeq Shariff and Maqsood alam Aug 6 Major Middle Eastern stock markets fell on Tuesday, led lower by financial stocks and mirroring losses in global markets triggered by the U.S. calling China a currency manipulator in a rapid escalation of the trade war between the two countries. China's central bank said on Tuesday that Washington's decision to label Beijing as a currency manipulator would "severely damage international financial order and cause chaos in financial markets". Qatar’s index, which posted its biggest fall in two years on Monday when it plunged 4.2% and wiped out all this year's gains, slid a further 1.5% to hit a six-session losing streak as 16 of its 20 companies traded lower. Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding declined 5% and Barwa Real Estate dipped 4.4% after the duo reported disappointing first-half earnings. The Saudi Arabian index closed 0.8% lower, continuing its losing streak for a fifth straight session with most of its banking shares falling. National Commercial Bank lost 3%, while Saudi British Bank (SABB) dipped 3.4% after it swung to a second-quarter loss. The latter posted a net loss of 254 million riyals ($67.72 million) in the second quarter compared with a profit of 833 million riyals a year earlier. Buruj Cooperative Insurance Co plunged 6% after it recorded a more than 81% fall in second quarter net profit before zakat which it blamed on a decrease in its net underwriting surplus. Dubai's index edged down 0.1% with Emirates NBD shedding 0.9%, while Emaar Development decreased 3.1% after it reported a 24% drop in first-half net profit. Dubai prime residential property prices fell 1.9% in the first half of the year due to the market being oversupplied, Reuters reported on Monday, citing real estate company Savills . In Abu Dhabi, the index traded flat as losses in the financial and telecommunication sectors eclipsed gains in real estate stocks. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank shed 1.6% while Bank of Sharjah slumped 9.9% to post its biggest intra-day loss since January 2009. The lender on Sunday posted a 24% drop in first-half profit. Aldar Properties closed 4.1% higher ahead of a board meeting on Wednesday at which it will discuss the company's second-quarter financial performance. EFG Hermes forecasts a 7% rise in profit. Egypt's blue-chip index rose 0.4% with Egypt Kuwait Holding gaining 3.2%. The firm obtained a regulatory nod to allocate land to agricultural projects to procure raw materials for its planned compressed wood factory. Ezz Steel surged 6.3% after a subsidiary of the firm on Monday approved the acquisition of Ezz Rolling Mills and Ezz Flat Steel. SAUDI ARABIA The index dropped 0.8% to 8,394 points DUBAI The index lost 0.1% to 2,797 points QATAR The index fell 1.5% to 9,777 points ABU DHABI The index was flat at 5,081 points EGYPT The index rose 0.4% to 13,656 points KUWAIT The index was down 0.3% at 6,707 points OMAN The index gained 0.4% to 3,803 points BAHRAIN The index was flat at 1,545 points ($1 = 3.7508 riyals) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff and Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Positive earnings end Saudi losing streak, COMI weighs on Egypt

Jul 25 2019

* Saudi snaps five-day losing streak * SIPCHEM surges on Q2 forecast beat * Jabal Omar gains after posting Q2 profit * Al Rajhi Bank declines as trades ex-dividend * Emaar Properties continues to gain By Ateeq Shariff and Maqsood alam July 25 Strong corporate earnings helped Saudi Arabia's stock market snap five days of losses, while top lender Commercial International Bank weighed on the Egyptian bourse. In Saudi Arabia, the index bounced back 0.4%, with Saudi Arabian Mining Company jumping 6.5%, and Sahara International Petrochemical (SIPCHEM) climbing 5.2% after it reported flat quarterly profit of 210.9 million riyals ($56.2 million) beating EFG Hermes' forecast of 188 million. Jabal Omar Development was up 2.7% after it swung to second quarter profit, which it credited to higher revenue. However, Al Rajhi Bank declined 2.4% as the stock traded ex-dividend. In Egypt, the index dipped 0.8%, with Commercial International Bank (COMI) declining 1.1%. Exchange data on Thursday showed non-Arab foreigners were net sellers of Egyptian stocks. The market has been on the back foot in the last two sessions after a Reuters poll showed that Egypt's economic growth was expected to slow to 5.5% in the fiscal year that began this month, below the government's target. The Qatar index advanced 0.8%, driven by conglomerate Industries Qatar, which rose 2.5%, while Qatar National Bank, the Gulf's largest lender, was up 0.8%. Abu Dhabi's index added 0.6%, an eighth-day of gains on the back of its banking and telecom shares. First Abu Dhabi Bank rose 0.5%. The largest lender in the UAE has mostly traded higher after reporting last week a rise in second-quarter profit and proposing to remove a limit on foreign ownership of its shares. Emirates Telecommunications Group rose 0.6%. The telecoms operator on Tuesday posted a slightly higher second quarter profit. Dana Gas added a further 3.8% and Eshraq Investments, which is also considering doing away with a foreign ownership limit on its shares, climbed 3.3%, its third consecutive gain. In Dubai, the index snapped a three-days winning streak and closed down 0.2%, as financial and telecom sectors slipped. Emirates NBD shed 0.9%, while Emirates Integrated Telecommunications, where an 8.9% year-on-year decline in mobile subscribers for the second-quarter led to a drop in revenue, fell 1.8%. Dubai Islamic Bank shed 0.2%. On Wednesday, research firm Fitch said UAE Islamic banks' asset-quality metrics would remain under pressure, particularly for those with weaker, younger franchises, in 2019. But real estate stocks were up, with Emaar Properties continuing to benefit from signing a project agreement in China. The developer traded 0.4% higher in its fourth straight session of gains. SAUDI ARABIA The index rose 0.4% to 8,819 points ABU DHABI The index gained 0.6% to 5,388 points DUBAI The index slid 0.2% to 2,851 points QATAR The index added 0.8% to 10,631 points EGYPT The index fell 0.8% to 13,510 points BAHRAIN The index was up 0.5% to 1,523 points OMAN The index lost 0.3% to 3,755 points KUWAIT The index added 0.7% to 6,707 points ($1 = 3.7503 riyals) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff and Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Emaar lifts Dubai to eight-month high; weak earnings hurt Saudi

Jul 23 2019

* Dubai reaches its highest in 8 months * Emaar continues to gain on China deal * Aldar surges after raising annual outlook * Ten of eleven Saudi banks decline * Ma'aden plunges on negative earnings By Ateeq Shariff and Maqsood alam July 23 Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates outperformed the region on Tuesday thanks to their blue-chip developers, while disappointing corporate earnings and falling oil prices dragged Saudi shares lower. Oil slipped to around $63 a barrel on Tuesday as concerns faded for now that rising tensions in the Middle East would escalate and hit oil supplies, compounding the impact of a weaker demand outlook. The Dubai index closed up 2.1%, to reach its highest since mid-November 2018, with real estate shares leading the gains. Dubai's largest listed developer Emaar Properties jumped 4% and its unit Emaar Malls surged 4.6%. The realtor had jumped 2.5% on Monday when it struck a deal with Beijing Daxing International Airport over an $11 billion project that includes residential and leisure facilities. "The UAE-China partnership seems to have fired up the real estate stocks," said Vrajesh Bhandari, senior portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital. Emirates NBD added 1.7%. Last week, the Emirate's biggest lender reported an 80% rise in second-quarter net profit boosted by the sale of a stake in Network International and strong non-interest income on foreign exchange gains. In Abu Dhabi, the index was up 0.9%, continuing its wining streak for a sixth day. Aldar properties leapt 6% to its highest since January 2018, after the firm raised its annual profit guidance by 50% for the next three to four years. Emirates Telecommunications Group climbed 1.6% after reporting a slight rise in second-quarter profit, while National Bank Of Ras Al Khaimah traded 4.4% higher after the lender reported a 25.7% surge in profit for the same period. In Saudi Arabia, the main index Tadawul fell 1.3%, sliding for a fourth straight day, with the country's largest lender National Commercial Bank shedding 1.8% and heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries declining 1.5%. Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden) plunged 4.6% after it swung to a second-quarter loss, which it blamed on falling average realised prices of all products except gold. National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) dropped 4.8% after it reported a 75% fall in second-quarter profit. In Qatar, the index lost 0.3%, weighed down by a 0.8% fall in market heavyweight Industries Qatar and a 1.6% drop in Qatar Gas Transport. Egypt and Oman were closed for a public holiday. SAUDI ARABIA The index dropped 1.3% to 8,796 points ABU DHABI The index gained 0.9% to 5,345 points DUBAI The index was up 2.1% to 2,833 points QATAR The index lost 0.3% to 10,511 points BAHRAIN The index slid 0.3% to 1,522 points KUWAIT The index declined 0.3% to 6,640 points (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff and Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fenton)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks aid Qatar, Abu Dhabi; other Gulf markets mixed

Jul 17 2019

* Commercial Bank earnings boost Qatar * Emaar Properties drag down Dubai * Dubai Islamic Bank up on Q2 profit * Kuwaiti stocks optimistic on MSCI decision By Ateeq Shariff July 17 Middle East stock markets were mixed on Wednesday with Qatar and Abu Dhabi rising on financial stocks, while property stocks weighed on Dubai. Qatar's index edged up 0.1% with Commercial Bank rising 1.9% after the lender recorded a net profit of 934.1 million riyals ($256.62 million) in the first-half of 2019, versus 855.1 million riyals a year earlier. In Kuwait, the index for the premier market, home to the largest and most liquid companies, rose 0.2%. It has been boosted by MSCI's decision to move Kuwaiti equities to its main emerging-market index in 2020 and is up more than 28% this year, outperforming its Gulf peers. In Abu Dhabi, the market rebounded 0.1%, after shedding in early trading, on the back of its top gainer National Bank of Fujairah, which soared 10.9%, and Emirates Telecommunications, which was up 0.1%. Saudi Arabia's main index traded flat after rising for seven straight sessions following EFG Hermes forecast profit for the kingdom's financial sector would grow 7.6% in the second quarter. Saudi Telecom rose 0.9%, and Saudi Arabian Mining Company closed 1.9% higher. Egypt's blue-chip index fell 0.6% as most of its shares turned red, with the country's largest lender Commercial International Bank shedding 0.9%. Exchange data on Wednesday showed Egyptians and Arabs were net sellers of Egyptian stocks. The Dubai index fell 0.2% pressured by its largest listed developer, Emaar Properties, which was down 1.2%. However, Dubai Islamic bank added 0.2% after it posted a higher second quarter profit, while Emirates NBD traded flat. The Emirate's largest lender rose as much as 1.8% during the day after reporting a 80% surge in second-quarter profit mainly thanks to asset sales and foreign exchange gains. SAUDI ARABIA The index was flat at 9,076 points ABU DHABI The index edged up 0.1% to 5,081 points DUBAI The index lost 0.2% to 2,716 points QATAR The index was up 0.1% at 10,614 points EGYPT The index slid 0.6% to 13,642 points BAHRAIN The index added 0.2% to 1,539 points OMAN The index fell 0.3% to 3,748 points KUWAIT The index gained 0.2% to 6,769 points ($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Frances Kerry)

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