December 31, 2018 / 8:20 AM / 4 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most of Gulf rises in thin trade, ENBD aids Dubai

Dec 31 (Reuters) - Most major Gulf stock markets rose early on Monday in light trade with many investors away on year-end holidays, while Dubai gained sharply, boosted by bank shares.

Saudi Arabia’s index gained 0.3 percent in the first 70 minutes with Al Rajhi Bank adding 0.6 percent and Samba Financial Group climbing 1.0 percent.

In Dubai, the index rose 1.4 percent, gaining for a fifth straight day after hitting a five-year low last week. The largest lender, Emirates NBD, jumped 5.4 percent in thin volume.

Construction firm Arabtec Holding gained 3.7 percent after saying its unit was awarded 622 million dirhams ($169 million) of contracts by DAMAC Properties, which increased 3.5 percent.

The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.3 percent with Dana Gas climbing 6.7 percent. The firm said it had received $324 million of receivables in 2018, including $199 million from Egypt.

Qatar’s index fell 0.3 percent with Qatar Electricity and Water decreasing 1.2 percent and the Middle East’s largest lender, Qatar National Bank, shedding 0.4 percent. (Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad and Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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