DUBAI, March 12 Stock markets in the Gulf were
mostly lower in early trade on Sunday after crude oil prices
plunged at the end of last week to a three-month low, but
Dubai's Shuaa Capital and Saudi Arabia's Bank Aljazira surged in
response to company-specific news.
A little over two-thirds of Saudi Arabia's 14 listed
petrochemical makers traded lower with Saudi Kayan Petrochemical
retreating 2.5 percent, helping drag the overall Saudi
index 0.7 percent lower.
Shares in Banque Saudi Fransi lost 1.2 percent
after Credit Agricole, which owns 31 percent of the
Saudi lender, said it was satisfied with business at the bank.
On Wednesday Reuters reported the French major stakeholder had
hired JP Morgan for a potential sale of its stake valued
at around $2.4 billion.
But Bank Aljazira jumped its 10 percent daily
limit after the lender proposed a 30 percent capital increase
through a bonus share issue.
Dubai's index fell 0.3 percent as two-thirds of the
traded shares dropped. Emaar Properties lost 1 percent
and DXB Entertainments was down 1.6 percent.
Shuaa Capital jumped 10.4 percent, however, after
saying it had signed an agreement to acquire Integrated Capital
and Abu-Dhabi based brokerage Integrated Securities. The
acquisition is pending regulatory approval and is expected to
close in the coming weeks, Shuaa said.
Integrated Financial Group is managed and controlled by Abu
Dhabi Financial Group. Last November, Abu Dhabi Financial Group
bought a 48.36 percent stake in Shuaa.
Abu Dhabi's index was down 0.4 percent in very thin
trade. Heavyweight First Gulf Bank fell 1.2 percent.
Qatar's index, however, extended Thursday's 1.0
percent gain and added 0.2 percent. Building materials maker
Qatari Investors Group was the top gainer, climbing
In Kuwait, National Bank of Kuwait fell 2.8
percent as the stock went ex-dividend. The index fell
(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Mark