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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf edges up before Saudi budget, Egypt continues bull run
December 21, 2016 / 8:53 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf edges up before Saudi budget, Egypt continues bull run

DUBAI, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets edged up early on Wednesday ahead of the release of Saudi Arabia’s state budget for 2017, which is expected on Thursday.

Egypt’s stock market continued its bull run.

The Saudi stock index edged up 0.3 percent in the first 90 minutes of trade.

Arabian Pipes jumped 5.2 percent after saying it had won a 72 million riyal ($19.2 million) order to supply pipes to oil giant Saudi Aramco, while Saudi Steel Pipes 6.1 percent after reporting a similar order from Aramco.

Arab National Bank edged down 0.2 percent after saying it proposed paying a cash dividend of 0.45 riyal per share for the second half of 2016, lower than 0.55 riyal paid in the corresponding period last year. Alinma Bank edged up 0.3 percent after keeping its 2016 dividend unchanged.

Dubai’s index edged up 0.1 percent while Qatar gained 0.5 percent.

Qatar’s Masraf Al Rayan, which jumped 6.1 percent on Tuesday after the Islamic lender announced it was in initial talks with Barwa Bank IPO-BABK.QA and International Bank of Qatar to merge, added a further 0.7 percent.

Cairo’s index, which surged 3.4 percent on Tuesday to a record high, climbed a further 0.9 percent in a bull run ignited by the foreign fund inflows and the floating of the Egyptian pound on Nov. 3.

Orascom Telecom, beaten down in recent weeks by news of the departure of Naguib Sawiris as managing director, gained 5.9 percent after saying it sold its unit Middle East and North Africa Co Submarine Cable Systems for US$90 million to an Indian company.

Proceeds are to be used to invest in the financial, real estate and logistics sectors, which may boom under Egypt’s economic reforms. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)

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