November 10, 2019 / 8:48 AM / a month ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks boost Saudi index; other Gulf markets dip

Nov 10 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian stocks rose sharply on Sunday, boosted by gains in financial shares in the wake of Saudi Aramco’s IPO-ARMO.SE disclosure of its initial public offering prospectus, while other major Gulf markets were subdued.

Saudi Aramco said in its prospectus that it will sell up to 0.5% of its shares to individual retail investors. But it did not include details of how much of the company would be floated in total or of any commitments from anchor investors.

Earlier, Reuters had cited sources saying the oil producer could sell 1%-2% on the Saudi stock market.

Last week, the market regulator approved the listing of Aramco, following which Saudi shares fell, and analysts had said that local investors could be selling other shares in order to shift investments to the oil producer.

Al Rajhi Bank rose 1.8%, while petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) was up 1.6%.

Saudi Aramco in its IPO prospectus said it expected to close its acquisition of Sabic in the first half of next year.

Elsewhere, real estate developer Dar Al Arkan gained 1.5% after it reported a 267% surge in third-quarter profit.

Dubai’s index dropped 0.5, hurt by real estate and banking stocks. Its largest lender Emirates NBD slipped 0.9%, while Emaar Development plunged 4.6%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index fell for a straight third session and was down 0.3%, with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank being the biggest drag on the index.

The lender fell 3% after it reported third-quarter net profit of 620 million dirhams ($169 million) compared with 589.5 million dirhams same period last year. However, the profit was down when compared with the second quarter this year.

Abu Dhabi National Energy dived 7.2%, extending its losses from the previous session after the energy firm turned to losses in third quarter.

Qatar’s index edged down 0.2% as Qatar Electricity And Water dropped 2.1% and Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding lost 1.1%. ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) (Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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