May 16, 2019 / 8:38 AM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks lift Saudi as all major Gulf markets rise

May 16 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose on Thursday amid rebounding bank shares, while all major Gulf markets were lifted after recent sell-offs.

The Saudi index was up 1% in early trade with all its banks rising.

Saudi British Bank and Alawwal Bank added 2.7% and 0.7% respectively after their shareholders approved a planned merger.

Telecom operators Saudi Telecom rose 1.8% and Etihad Etisalat was up 1.1% after HSBC raised their target prices.

In Dubai, the index was up 0.4%, lifted by real estate shares with its blue-chip developer Emaar Properties increasing 1.4%.

Amusement park operator DXB Entertainment gained 2.7%, rebounding from last session’s decline. Earlier this week, it posted a wider first-quarter loss.

Islamic Arab Insurance rose 2.4% on higher first-quarter gross written contributions.

Qatar’s index was also up 0.3% buoyed by its banking stocks. Lender Masraf Al Rayan added 0.6%, while Mesaieed Petrochemical increased 1.8%.

Mesaieed has been rising since the stock was added to the MSCI index earlier this week. ​

The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.1% to snap a three-day losing streak. Energy firm Dana Gas traded 1.2% higher following its inclusion into MSCI emerging markets small cap index. (Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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