DUBAI Jan 5 Saudi Arabian and United Arab
Emirates stock markets made small gains in early trade on
Thursday after oil prices rebounded overnight and global equity
The Saudi equities index rose 0.3 percent, partially
recovering from Wednesday's 0.7 percent decline, as the
petrochemical sector was bid up. Yanbu National Petrochemical
jumped 4.6 percent after an hour of trade.
Some other large-caps which had been hit by profit-taking
over the last two sessions also rose, with Al Rajhi Bank
adding 0.8 percent. But peer Riyad Bank fell
0.9 percent after its board recommended a slightly lower cash
dividend distribution for the second half of 2016 compared to
the corresponding period in 2015.
Construction firm Khodari gained 1.2 percent after
saying it had renewed 124.5 million riyals ($33.2 million) of
Islamic credit facilities with Al-Bilad Bank.
In Dubai, the main index added 0.8 percent with
Dubai Investments rising 4.1 percent after announcing
on Wednesday the launch of a new 3 billion dirham ($817 million)
real estate project in Dubai.
Dubai Islamic Insurance and Reinsurance jumped
14.0 percent to 1.09 dirhams in its heaviest trade since early
2014. The stock soared its 15 percent limit on each of the past
three days, and it has doubled in price since Dec. 27. Some
traders have speculated there may be mergers in the industry,
following last year's news of a big Abu Dhabi banking merger.
Abu Dhabi's index rose 0.3 percent on the bank of
real estate shares. Aldar Properties was up 0.8
percent and Eshraq Properties, the most heavily traded
stock, was up 1.0 percent.
But Qatar's index edged down 0.2 percent as some blue
chips which had carried the market higher in the previous two
days pulled back. Telecommunicaction operator Ooredoo
lost 1.3 percent.
(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)