June 9, 2019 / 12:54 PM / 2 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi leads Gulf higher after Eid break

    * Global markets lift sentiment for Gulf
    * Al Rajhi and SABIC lead gains on Saudi stocks
    * Property boosts Dubai stocks
    * FAB drags down Abu Dhabi, Qatar hit by profit-taking

    By Saeed Azhar
    DUBAI, June 9 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia and Dubai led Gulf
stocks higher on Sunday as regional markets resumed trade after
last week's holidays, lifted by positive sentiment on global
stocks and expected foreign fund inflows into the Riyadh market.
    The Saudi index rose by 2.2% to finish at 8,699
points, its best close since May 9.  
    "The market is bouncing back after the correction
experienced in the past few weeks," said Riyad Capital's
Muhammad Faisal Potrik. "It's taking its cue from global markets
as well, which have risen while we were on Eid break." 
    Global stock markets advanced and U.S. Treasury yields
tumbled on Friday after a slowdown in job growth fueled hopes of
a cut to U.S. interest rates while there were also hints of
progress in Washington's trade battles.
    Al Rajhi Bank rose 3.2%, Saudi Telecom
was up 3.4% and Saudi Basic Industries, the index's
biggest stock, gained 2.9%.
    Late last month the Saudi equity market joined the MSCI
Emerging Market index, which is expected to trigger billions of
dollars of foreign fund inflows. 
    A third tranche of the FTSE Russell emerging market index
will kick in this month after Saudi stocks were included in two
tranches in March and April.   
    The Dubai index also rose, firming by 1.2% as
property stocks registered strong gains. DAMAC Properties
 was up 9.3% and Union Properties rose 4.3%.
Market heavyweight Emaar Properties was up by a more
modest 0.7%.
    The Kuwait index gained 1.5%, lifted by financial
stocks. Burgan Bank rose 2.5% and Kuwait Finance House
 was up 1.3%.
    Egyptian stocks were also in positive territory with a 0.8%
    Global Telecom was up 1.5% after the company
announced it has postponed its shareholder meeting to provide
more time for investors to consider the mandatory tender offer
submitted by major shareholder VEON.
    Abu Dhabi's index dropped 0.95%, on weakness in First
Abu Dhabi Bank, which eased by 1.2%. 
    The Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority on Sunday
said it has imposed additional measures to restrict First Abu
Dhabi's business in the Gulf state.
    In March the Qatari regulator said it would no longer permit
First Abu Dhabi Bank, the largest in the United Arab Emirates
(UAE), to provide services for new customers in Doha. The ban
came amid an investigation of alleged currency manipulation
after the Gulf rift.
   Qatar's index ended 0.2% down on profit-taking after
strong gains before the Eid holiday. Qatar National Bank
 fell by 1.1%.
 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         rose 2.2% to 8,699 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        fell 0.95% to 4,956 points
 DUBAI         The index          rose 1.2% to 2,651 points
 QATAR         The index        fell 0.2% to 10,295 points
 EGYPT         The index          down 0.8% to 13,911 points
 BAHRAIN       The index        gained 0.8% to 1,446 points
 OMAN          The index        rose 0.3% to 3,955 points
 KUWAIT        The index        added 1.5% to 6,372 points
 (Editing by David Goodman)
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