Middle East

MIDEAST STOCKS Most Gulf bourses in the red; Abu Dhabi edges up

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A trader looks on near electronic boards showing stock market data at Bahrain Bourse after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidency, in Manama, Bahrain, November 8, 2020. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


Sept 21 (Reuters) - Most stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Tuesday, extending losses from the previous session, amid concerns about contagion from the distress of debt-saddled Chinese developer Evergrande.

The Chinese government is expected to step in to prevent any large shocks related to Evergrande, while worries about the economic slowdown and pandemic linger, said Wael Makarem, senior market strategist at Exness.

Dubai's main share index (.DFMGI) slid 1.2%, dragged down by a 1.8% decline in Emirates NBD Bank (ENBD.DU) and a 1.2% decrease in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU).

On Monday, the emirate said it was establishing a new Integrated Economic Zones Authority that will act as an independent legal entity with financial and administrative autonomy.

More than 5,000 international firms will operate under the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority.

The government's efforts to establish special economic zones should prove beneficial as sanitary restrictions are reduced and international traffic increases over time, added Makarem.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) inched down 0.1%, hurt by a 0.9% fall in Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services (4013.SE).

The kingdom plans to raise up to 10 billion riyals ($2.67 billion) next year for Amaala, one of its tourism projects on its Red Sea coast. read more

Amaala and the Red Sea project company, both 100% owned by the Public Investment Fund - Saudi Arabia's main sovereign investor - will likely be consolidated under one "Red Sea Group" by the end of this year.

The Abu Dhabi index (.ADI) reversed early losses to close 0.1% higher, ending two sessions of losses, helped by a 0.5% increase in International Holding Company (IHC) (IHC.AD), while its unit Alpha Dhabi Holding (ALPHADHABI.AD) advanced 1.3%.

IHC's subsidiary invested a further 55 million dirhams ($14.97 million) in Firefly to bring digital advertising services to taxis and rideshares in the region.

In Qatar, the index (.QSI) lost 0.3% as most of its stocks ended lower, including Mesaieed Petrochemical (MPHC.QA).

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index (.EGX30) dropped 2%, led by a 1.3% slide in top lender Commercial International Bank (COMI.CA).

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

($1 = 3.7502 riyals)

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Mark Potter

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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