September 19, 2019 / 1:48 PM / a month ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks gain ahead of joining FTSE Russel and S&P Dow Jones indexes

    * Saudi's petchems rise after feedstock supply improves
    * Bank Albilad sees biggest gain in 4 years
    * Most of financial shares slide in Abu Dhabi
    * Telecom shares weigh on Qatar
    * Real estate and banks move sideways in Egypt

    By Ateeq Shariff and Shamsuddin Mohd
    Sept 19 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's stock market rose sharply
on Thursday ahead of their inclusion in FTSE Russell and S&P Dow
Jones emerging market indexes next week, which are expected to
attract billions of dollars in passive funds.
    Saudi stocks will see fourth tranche inclusion in FTSE
Russell and the second and final tranche entry into S&P Dow
Jones as an emerging market starting on September 23.
    Saudi stocks initially joined the two indexes earlier this
    The market was also supported by news that Saudi oil supply
was uninterrupted despite weekend attacks on the kingdom's oil
facilities and by a cut in Saudi interest rates.
    Saudi Arabia said it continues to supply oil to its
customers from its stockpiles and the attacks would have "zero
impact" on government revenues.
    The Saudi index ended 1.4% higher with Al Rajhi Bank
 gaining 2% and Bank Albilad surging 8%, its
biggest intraday gain since August 2015.
    The central banks of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
Emirates, which peg their currencies to the U.S. dollar, cut
interest rates on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve lowered
U.S. rates, which Saudi officials said should help the country's
banks by boost lending.
    Petrochemical stocks also rose, extending their gains from
Wednesday after saying their feedstock supplies from Aramco had
significantly improved.
    Saudi Basic Industries climbed 2%, while Saudi
Arabia Fertilizers leapt 5.5%.
    However, the tensions in Middle East weighed on other
regional markets after Saudi Arabia presented what it called
"undeniable" evidence of Iranian links to the Aramco attacks.

    In Abu Dhabi, the index eased 0.6%, with the
country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank losing
0.8% and Abu Dhabi Commercial bank shedding 2.5%.
    Qatar's index was down 0.3%, led by a 6.5% plunge in
Ooredoo and a 2.2% drop in Masraf Al Rayan.
    In Dubai, the index slipped 0.1%, extending losses
for a third-day consecutively. Dubai Islamic Bank, the
United Arab Emirates' largest sharia-compliant lender, lost 1.9%
and Emirates NBDDU> ended 1.1% lower.
    Egypt's blue-chip index traded flat as gains in the
real estate sector were marred by financial shares.
    Talaat Mostafa hiked 3.9%, while Commercial
International Bank dropped 0.9%.
 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         rose 1.4% to 7,927 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        lost 0.6% to 5,125 points
 DUBAI         The index          slipped 0.1% to 2,820 points
 QATAR         The index        slid 0.3% to 10,512 points
 EGYPT         The index          was flat at 14,742 points
 BAHRAIN       The index        edged up 0.1% to 1,490 points
 OMAN          The index        declined 0.6% to 3,992 points
 KUWAIT        The index        was up 1.3% at 6,010 points
 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff and Shamsuddin Mohd in Bengaluru,
Editing by William Maclean)
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