June 17, 2020 / 8:15 AM / a month ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf bourses mixed; Saudi shares rise on gains by energy, financials

June 17 (Reuters) - Major Gulf bourses moved sideways on Wednesday, while gains in shares of energy and financials sectors pushed up the region’s biggest stock market Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi benchmark index gained 0.6%, with National Commercial Bank, the country’s largest lender, rising 1.2%, while state-owned Saudi Aramco gaining 0.4%.

The oil giant completed the acquisition of a 70% stake in petrochemicals company Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) for $69.1 billion from the PIF sovereign fund and has extended the payment period to 2028.

SABIC, which announced appointment of Khalid Al-Dabbagh as its chairman, was up 0.6%.

The Qatari index rose 0.5%, with petrochemicals firm Industries Qatar gaining 1.2% and Qatar Islamic Bank trading 0.5% higher.

In the United Arab Emirates, where vital sectors such as tourism and transport are at a near halt, stocks retreated a day after rising.

In Dubai, the index lost 0.7%, hurt by a 1.1% fall in Emaar Properties and a 1.7% decline in logistic firm Aramex.

The Abu Dhabi index fell 1.1%, as the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank slid 1.4% and aquaculture firm International Holding dropped 4.5%.

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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