April 4, 2019 / 1:26 PM / 7 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks lift Saudi, Dubai continues to rally on Emirates NBD deal

    * Al Rajhi Bank surges after capital increase approval
    * Dubai continues winning streak for the sixth session
    * Emirates NBD hovers around 11-year high
    * Orascom Investment rises on FY result, Nile Sugar

    By Ateeq Shariff
    April 4 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's stock market marked its
ninth session of gains on Thursday, led by banking shares, while
Emirates NBD's deal to buy Turkey's Denizbank lifted Dubai's
main index.
    The Saudi index was up 0.9 percent, led by a 3.1
percent rise in Al Rajhi Bank and a 2.3 percent gain
in the largest lender National Commercial bank.
    Al Rajhi Bank's shareholders approved an increase in its
capital to 25 billion riyals ($6.7 billion) from 16.25 billion
riyals through issuing bonus shares.
    Sahara Petrochemical rose 0.4 percent after it
announced an amendment to the proposed merger of equals with
Saudi International Petrochemical Company (SIPCHEM).
    The company said CEO Saleh Mohammed Bahmdan will be
appointed as chief executive of the combined company, and
SIPCHEM's Chief Executive Abdullah Saif Alsaadoon will be
appointed chief operating officer of the group. SIPCHEM was up
0.3 percent.
    Middle East Healthcare added 2.5 percent, a day
after the company said its Saudi German Hospital project was 84
percent complete as of March 31, and that it expects its
completion by June.
    The Dubai index closed 0.6 percent higher, with
Emirates NBD adding 4 percent, trading around its
highest level in more than a decade.
    On Wednesday, the bank said it will buy Denizbank
for 15.48 billion lira ($2.7 billion) from Russia's state-owned
Sberbank. The offer is a roughly 20 percent discount
to a previously agreed price after a steep fall in the Turkish
    Shuaa Capital jumped 3.8 percent. Abu Dhabi
Financial Group (ADFG) is set to take over Shuaa in a reverse
merger, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on
    But Emirates Integrated Telecommunications (du)
slipped 2.8 as the stock traded ex-dividend.
    The Egyptian blue-chip index gained 0.3 percent
with Global Telecom Holding adding 3.7 percent and
Heliopolis Co For Housing and Development rising 5.8
percent. On Tuesday, Heliopolis' board approved the sale of
multiple pieces of land.
    Orascom Investment Holding inched up 0.7 percent
after its full-year net profit nearly doubled.
    In a separate bourse filing, the firm said that it had
negotiated with shareholders to buy 100 percent of the issued
share capital of Nile Sugar for 3.59 billion Egyptian pounds
($207 million).
    In Qatar, the index gained 0.3 percent, with Qatar
Gas Transport (Nakilat) jumping 4.5 percent to its
highest in over two years. 
    CI Capital on Tuesday raised its target price on Nakilat to
24 riyals ($6.59), rating the stock as 'overweight'.
    Abu Dhabi's index slid 0.3 percent with Abu Dhabi
Commercial Bank declining 3.2 percent.
    Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank outperformed with a 2.5
percent rise. The bank denied that it was in merger talks with
First Abu Dhabi Bank after a news report said the
emirate was considering combining them. First Abu Dhabi edged
0.1 percent lower.
    The Kuwaiti and Omani markets were closed for public

 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         rose 0.9 pct to 9,064 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        slipped 0.3 pct to 5,032 points
 DUBAI         The index          added 0.6 pct to 2,776 points
 QATAR         The index        gained 0.3 pct to 10,190 points
 EGYPT         The index          was up 0.3 pct at 15,248
 BAHRAIN       The index        was up 0.1 pct at 1,419 points
($1 = 5.6420 liras)

($1 = 3.6405 Qatar riyals)

($1 = 3.7505 riyals)

($1 = 17.3100 Egyptian pounds)

 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan
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