Middle East

Most Gulf bourses gain in early trade; Saudi retreats

2 minute read

An investor looks at the screen at the Dubai International Financial Market in Dubai, UAE February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Satish Kumar

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Oct 24 (Reuters) - Most stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Sunday, with the Abu Dhabi index outperforming the region, while the Saudi index bucked the trend to trade lower.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) fell 0.7%, with Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) dropping 2.4%, on course to end a five-day winning streak.

On Sunday, Al Rajhi reported a net profit of 3.79 billion riyals ($1.01 billion) for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from 2.66 billion riyals in the same period last year.

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Saudi National Bank (1180.SE) traded flat. The kingdom's biggest lender posted a nearly 20% rise in third-quarter profit, citing higher fees. read more

But Saudi Telecom (7010.SE) rose 0.9%, following an increase in quarterly net profit.

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.ADI) gained 0.7%, buoyed by a 1.3% rise in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD) and a 0.5% increase in conglomerate International Holding Co (IHC) (IHC.AD).

Dubai's main share index (.DFMGI) added 0.6%, with Aramex (ARMX.DU) jumping 4.8%, extending gains from the previous session, after a direct deal worth 1.41 billion dirhams ($384 million) for its 295 million shares.

However, Union Properties (UPRO.DU) plunged 9.3%. The United Arab Emirates public prosecutor has begun investigating claims of financial irregularities made by the local securities regulator against executives of Union Properties, Reuters reported on Sunday, citing state-news agency WAM. read more

The Qatari index (.QSI) added 0.1%, helped by a 2.1% rise in Qatar Gas Transport (Nakilat) (QGTS.QA), rising for an eighth session in nine.

Last week, Nakilat, one of the world's largest shippers of liquefied natural gas, reported a net profit of QAR 1 billion riyals ($275 million) for the nine months ended Sept. 30, up from 899.5 million riyals a year ago.

Employers in Qatar will be required to provide health insurance coverage for expatriates and their families under a new law issued by the emir this week, a senior Qatari official said on Thursday. read more

Shares of Qatar Insurance (QINS.QA) traded 0.3% higher.

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham, 3.6400 Qatar riyals, 3.7507 Saudi riyals)

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Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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