DUBAI Dec 19 Qatar's stock market climbed in
early trade on Monday after the finance ministry published the
2017 state budget, while large-cap shares weighed on other
The index in Qatar, which was closed for a public
holiday on Sunday, rose 1.1 percent with 85 percent of shares
advancing. Petrochemical and metals producer Industries Qatar
was the top performer, adding 2.1 percent.
On Thursday Qatar published a 2017 budget which projected a
deficit of 28.3 billion riyals ($7.8 billion), much smaller than
the originally projected 2016 deficit, and total spending of
198.4 billion riyals, down from 202.5 billion riyals.
Although that is slightly contractionary, it is less
contractionary than the 2016 budget, and the government plans to
increase capital spending next year. It did not announce any
major new austerity measures, and the budget's conservative oil
price assumption of $45 a barrel suggests the government has
plenty of room to meet its targets next year.
Dubai's main index lost 0.1 percent in thin trade
on Monday morning. Emaar Properties edged down 0.1
Blue chips were also weak in Abu Dhabi, where the index
slipped 0.2 percent; First Gulf Bank was down
In Saudi Arabia, the index was dragged 0.4 percent
lower by a 2.6 percent drop in the largest listed stock, Saudi
Basic Industries, after the company announced a lower
cash dividend for the second half of this year compared to a
Rising stocks slightly outnumbered losers, however, and
seven of the 10 most heavily traded stocks were higher. Saudi
Cable Co, which rose 2.5 percent on Sunday after
saying its Turkish subsidiary had won a $50 million order,
climbed a further 5.8 percent.
(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)