February 13, 2019 / 8:38 AM / in 2 months

MIDEAST STOCKS-Telecom operator Vodafone lifts Qatar, banks propel Saudi

Feb 13 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose in early trading on Wednesday with bank and petrochemical shares gaining on recovering oil prices, while Qatar was lifted mainly by Vodafone Qatar’s strong results.

Saudi Arabia’s index rose 0.6 percent with Al Rajhi Bank gaining 0.8 percent and petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries adding 1.2 percent.

Saudi International Petrochemical (Sipchem) climbed 2 percent after it reported a full-year net profit of 583 million riyals ($155.46 million) from 437.4 million riyals a year earlier.

Saudi Airlines Catering increased 0.5 percent after announcing a contract with Saudi Arabian Airlines for a provisional value of 500 million riyals.

Qatar’s index snapped a five-day losing streak to add 0.6 percent.

Vodafone Qatar climbed 4.1 percent in active trade after it reported a 374 million riyal rise in 2018 net profit, which it said was its first ever profitable year.

Petrochemical maker Industries Qatar added 0.4 percent after its annual net profit surged 52 percent.

In Dubai, the index was up 0.8 percent on the back of its real estate stocks. Emaar Properties gained 0.8 percent.

Its unit Emaar Hospitality closed a sale of its Dubai-based hotels to Abu Dhabi National Hotels (ADNH) for 2.20 billion dirhams. ADNH slipped 1.8 percent.

Builder Arabtec increased 2 percent as its annual profit and proposed dividend more than doubled. Arabtec proposed a dividend of 5 fils per share for 2018, up from 2.05 fils a year ago.

The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.7 percent with First Abu Dhabi Bank gaining 0.7 percent.

Dana Gas added 3.7 percent. The firm will begin drilling this year in an area it says could become Egypt’s next giant Mediterranean gas field, after seismic data pointed to reserves as large as 20 trillion cubic feet, Reuters reported on Tuesday. ($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirham) ($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals) ($1 = 3.7502 riyals) (Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru, Editing by William Maclean)

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