* Qatar to raise Qatari staff proportion in state-affiliated
* 27 of 30 stocks decline in Egypt's blue-chip index
By Ateeq Shariff
July 9 Broad-based gains pushed the Qatari
bourse higher on Thursday, with financial stocks leading the
pack, whereas a wide sell-off pulled down Egypt's blue-chip
In Qatar, the benchmark share index advanced 1%, as
most of its constituents ended higher. Qatar National Bank
, the Gulf's biggest lender, gained 2.8%, while
petrochemical firm Industries Qatar added 1.9%.
Elsewhere, Commercial Bank was up 1.5%.
On Wednesday, the Qatari cabinet approved a draft resolution
that aims to raise the percentage of Qataris working at
state-owned companies or where the state is an investor to 60%,
state news agency QNA reported.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index slid
1.5%, with 27 of its 30 stocks declining. Commercial
International Bank fell 1.1% and Cleopatra Hospital
The benchmark index in Saudi Arabia edged up 0.3%,
with Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services rising 2%.
Arqaam Capital said in a research note on Tuesday that the
health-care firm which went public in March, and now meets the
minimum three months of trading, will be included in FTSE
indexes in September with about $39 million of passive inflows.
Dubai's main share index slipped 0.1%, hurt by a
2.5% fall in budget airliner Air Arabia and a 1.5%
drop in logistic firm Air Arabia.
The coronavirus outbreak delivered a blow to Dubai, one of
the most visited cities globally, where tourism accounts for
more than 11% of GDP. Dozens of hotels closed while occupancy
rates fell to less than 10% in others.
The Abu Dhabi index lost 0.4%, with First Abu Dhabi
Bank, the country's largest lender, falling 0.7%, while
aquaculture firm International Holding was down 1.5%.
However, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank added 0.6%.
On Monday, the sharia-compliant lender said it had raised
its foreign ownership limit to 40% from 25%.
SAUDI ARABIA rose 0.3% to 7,417 points
ABU DHABI dropped 0.4% to 4,295 points
DUBAI eased 0.1% to 2,082 points
QATAR gained 1% to 9,316 points
EGYPT down 1.5% to 10,957 points
BAHRAIN added 0.2% to 1,286 points
OMAN was flat at 3,494 points
KUWAIT lost 0.2% to 5,604 points
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by Emelia
* Dubai allows foreign tourists to enter from July 7
* All Saudi Arabian banks tumble
* QNB to raise 1.2 bln Chinese yuan in 5-year bonds
By Ateeq Shariff
June 22 The Dubai stock market advanced on
Monday after the emirate said it would allow tourists to enter
from July 7 in a further easing of its coronavirus lockdown,
while the Saudi bourse retreated with broad-based losses among
Dubai's main share index rose 1.6%, with
sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank and
Emirates NBD Bank both up 1.8%. Budget airline Air
Arabia jumped 5.3%.
Dubai will also allow those with residency visas to enter
from Monday, the government media office said in a statement on
Sunday, more than two months after the United Arab Emirates
(UAE) introduced strict measures to curb the spread of the new
Last week, the UAE allowed citizens and residents to travel
to countries deemed low-risk for catching the coronavirus.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index retreated 1.2%,
pulled down by a 2.3% fall in petrochemical firm Saudi Basic
Industries and a 2.7% decline in Riyad Bank.
"It's not surprising that the market is weak, since there is
no catalyst left," an analyst said, as the kingdom completed the
final phase of joining the FTSE emerging market index.
The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.3%, supported by a
0.8% gain in Emirates Telecommunications.
In Qatar, the index lost 0.3%, driven by a 3.2% slide
in Qatar International Islamic Bank. However, the
index's fall was cushioned by a 0.5% rise in Qatar National Bank
The Gulf's biggest lender by assets is set to raise 1.2
billion Chinese yuan ($169.61 million) through the sale of 3.85%
five-year bonds on Monday
Egypt's blue-chip index fell 0.8% with Commercial
International Bank down 1.3%, while tobacco monopoly
Eastern Company fell 4.5%.
SAUDI ARABIA fell 1.2% to 7,260 points
ABU DHABI added 0.3% to 4,347 points
DUBAI rose 1.6% to 2,091 points
QATAR lost 0.3% to 9,261 points
EGYPT down 0.8% to 10,742 points
BAHRAIN gained 0.3% to 1,279 points
OMAN eased 0.4% to 3,510 points
KUWAIT was up 0.4% at 5,506 points
($1 = 7.0752 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten
* Kuwait sees biggest intraday fall in more than two months
* Saudi Arabia's Amlak International intends to float
* Dubai Investments extends losses
By Ateeq Shariff
June 14 Most Gulf stocks closed lower on Sunday,
with Kuwait hardest after its banking federation said banks
would not pay dividends, while Egyptian shares sold off on a
spike in coronavirus cases.
The Kuwaiti index tumbled 3.2%, its biggest intraday
fall since April, with National Bank of Kuwait down 4%
and Kuwait Finance House ending 3.8% lower.
Kuwait's Capital Markets Authority on Thursday cancelled all
Wednesday's stock transactions after bank stocks fell in the
wake of a banking federation statement that Kuwaiti banks would
not pay dividends for 2020.
Beyond the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index ended 0.9% down,
pressured by a 2.6% fall in Egypt Kuwait Holding and a
4.4% drop in El Sewedy Electric.
Egypt confirmed 1,677 new coronavirus cases and 62 deaths,
its health ministry said on Saturday, the highest daily increase
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index slipped 0.2%. Banque
Saudi Fransi fell 2.2%, while petrochemical maker
Saudi Basic Industries eased 0.6%.
Separately, the kingdom's Amlak International for Real
Estate Finance said it will proceed with an initial public
offering of 30% of its shares on the Riyadh exchange.
Dubai's main share index eased 0.5%, driven down by
a 4.8% fall in Dubai Investments, extending losses
from the previous session after the stock traded ex-dividend and
Arabtec Holding was down 1.3%.
The Abu Dhabi index slipped 0.4%, hurt by a 0.7% fall
in top lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.
Qatar's index dropped 0.5%, with petrochemical firm
Industries Qatar falling 1.9% and utility company
Qatar Electricity and Water declining 2%.
SAUDI ARABIA was down 0.2% to 7,293 points
ABU DHABI eased 0.4% to 4,276 points
DUBAI fell 0.5% to 2,092 points
QATAR lost 0.5% to 9,185 points
EGYPT down 0.9% to 10,731 points
BAHRAIN retreated 0.5% to 1,274 points
OMAN edged up 0.2% to 3,520 points
KUWAIT slid 3.2% at 5,347 points
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru;
Editing by Alexander Smith)
* Dubai registers biggest intraday rise in two months
* 26 of 30 stocks gain on Egypt's blue-chip index
* IMF announces preliminary deal on standby loan for Egypt
By Ateeq Shariff
June 7 Most bourses in the Gulf ended higher on
Sunday, a day after the OPEC+ group of oil producers agreed to
extend record production cuts until the end of July, with
Egyptian shares boosted by a preliminary deal on a standby IMF
loan for the country.
Saturday's deal between OPEC and other producers led by
Russia prolongs a pact that has helped crude prices to double in
the past two months by withdrawing almost 10% of global supplies
from the market.
Dubai's main share index jumped 4.6%, its biggest
intraday gain since April 7, led by a 9.5% surge for Dubai
Islamic Bank and a 6.1% increase in Emaar Properties
In Saudi Arabia, OPEC's de facto leader, the index
was up 0.8%, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 1% and
petrochemicals group Saudi Basic Industries up 1.1%.
Oil giant Saudi Aramco, meanwhile, gained 0.6%.
It was not clear whether Saudi Arabia, the United Arab
Emirates and Kuwait would extend their additional voluntary oil
production cuts of 1.18 million bpd, which are not part of the
The Abu Dhabi index gained 2.4%, boosted by a 4.2%
jump for the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index surged
4.6% after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced on
Friday that it had reached a staff-level agreement with Egypt
for a one-year $5.2 billion standby loan to help the country to
contend with the coronavirus pandemic.
The agreement will be finalised by the IMF's executive
SAUDI ARABIA rose 0.8% to 7,268 points
ABU DHABI gained 2.4% to 4,405 points
DUBAI leapt 4.6% to 2,133 points
QATAR added 1.1% to 9,349 points
EGYPT up 4.6% to 11,109 points
BAHRAIN lost 0.4% to 1,270 points
OMAN was up 0.6% to 3,538 points
KUWAIT rose 0.9% to 5,507 points
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru
Editing by David Goodman)
* Nine of 11 Saudi Arabian banks decline
* Dubai reopens malls and private businesses
* QNB markets 5-yr Chinese yuan-denominated bonds
By Ateeq Shariff
June 3 Most stock markets in the Gulf region
closed higher on Wednesday, with Qatar rising the most, while
the Saudi index fell after oil prices weakened due to doubts
about an early meeting of OPEC+ nations.
OPEC leader Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC Russia have
preliminary agreed to extend existing record oil production cuts
by one month, sources told Reuters.
But oil prices retreated after Bloomberg reported that the
Thursday meeting was in doubt. Brent crude futures for August
were down 31 cents, or 0.8%, at $39.26 by 1310 GMT,
having earlier touched their highest since March 6.
Saudi Arabian benchmark index lost 0.9%, with Al
Rajhi Bank dropping 1% and petrochemical maker Saudi
Basic Industries declining 1.8%.
In Dubai, the index firmed 0.8%, with
sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank rising 2%
and logistics firm Aramex leaping 3.8%.
Dubai will allow the full reopening of malls and private
businesses starting on Wednesday, its media office said on
Tuesday, after the United Arab Emirates business hub began
easing restrictions last month.
Elsewhere, Emaar Malls advanced 2.2%.
The Qatari index gained 1.6%, as most of the
constituents on the index ended higher, including petrochemical
firm Industries Qatar, which was up 5.9%.
Qatar National Bank (QNB) added 1.2%. The Gulf's
largest lender is marketing five-year Chinese yuan-denominated
bonds at a final price guidance of 3.8%, Reuters reported on
Wednesday citing two sources.
The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.2%, helped by a 4.6%
increase in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index increased
0.8%, led by a 1.3% gain in Commercial International Bank
SAUDI ARABIA fell 0.9% to 7,222
ABU DHABI edged up 0.2% to 4,285
DUBAI added 0.8% to 2,000
QATAR rose 1.6% to 9,213
EGYPT up 0.9% to 10,424
BAHRAIN was up 0.5% at 1,275
OMAN slipped 0.2% to 3,535
KUWAIT was down 0.2% at 5,458
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by
* Etisalat leaps on unit's deal
* FAB sells $500 mln in Formosa bonds - sources
* Saudi Aramco falls ahead of OPEC+ meeting
By Ateeq Shariff
June 2 Most major stock markets in the Middle
East closed higher on Tuesday, with Abu Dhabi outperforming the
region, whereas the Saudi index retreated ahead of an OPEC+
meeting on output cuts.
In Abu Dhabi, the index advanced 2.6%, boosted by a
4.9% surge in Emirates Telecommunications (Etisalat)
, after its Egyptian unit Etisalat Misr and Telecom
Egypt signed transmission and mobile-to-fixed
interconnection agreements on Monday.
The deal will enable Etisalat Misr to continue delivering
premium offers and mobile telecommunications services to
customers in Egypt.
Elsewhere, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) gained 2.7%.
The United Arab Emirates' (UAE) largest lender sold $500
million in privately placed 30-year Formosa bonds with a 0%
coupon last month, Reuters reported, citing two sources.
Dubai's main share index edged up 0.1%, with budget
airline Air Arabia advancing 3.7%.
The state news agency in the UAE, which suspended entry of
non-Emirati residents on March 19, said residents with relatives
in the country could start returning as of June 1.
Qatar's index ended up 0.5%, as Qatar National Bank
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index slipped 0.1%, hurt by
a 0.8% fall in oil giant Saudi Aramco ahead of an
OPEC+ producers are considering extending their production
cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd), equivalent to about
10% of global production, into July or August, at an online
meeting expected to be held on June 4.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index rose 1%,
with most constituents in positive territory and market
heavyweight Commercial International Bank up 0.9%.
SAUDI ARABIA fell 0.1% to 7,285 points
ABU DHABI gained 2.6%% to 4,277 points
DUBAI rose 0.5% to 1,984 points
QATAR added 0.5% to 9,067 points
EGYPT up 1% to 10,339 points
BAHRAIN was flat at 1,270 points
OMAN edged up 0.2% to 3,540 points
KUWAIT was up 0.4% at 5,462 points
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark
* Acquisition of SABIC stake on track - Aramco
* Aramco's dividend in line with planned payout for year
* IMF approves emergency pandemic aid for Egypt
By Ateeq Shariff
May 12 Saudi Arabia's stock market rebounded on
Tuesday, as investors welcomed Riyadh's commitment to deepen oil
output cuts, while Egypt outperformed the region after the
International Monetary Fund's (IMF) approved emergency aid to
On Monday, the kingdom said it would deepen output cuts in
June beyond its quota under the latest OPEC+ deal to help drain
a supply glut, prompting a rise in crude prices.
Brent crude advanced 90 cents, or 3.04%, to $30.53
at 1150 GMT.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index ended 1.2% up, with
petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC)
climbing 4.1%. Saudi Aramco said on Tuesday that its
planned acquisition of a majority stake in SABIC was on track to
close in the second quarter.
Shares of Aramco were up 1.3% at 31.30 riyals, despite
reporting a 25% fall in first-quarter net profit, below analyst
estimates. However, Aramco's quarterly dividend was in line with
a plan for a $75 billion payout for the year.
Net profit fell to 62.48 billion riyals ($16.63 billion)
after zakat and tax in the first three months of 2020, from
83.29 billion a year earlier.
Egypt's blue-chip index advanced 2.8%, with 28 of
30 stocks on the index rising including Commercial International
Bank, which was up 3.2%.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday said its
executive board approved $2.77 billion in emergency financing to
help Egypt grapple with the new coronavirus pandemic that has
brought tourism to a standstill and triggered capital flight.
In Dubai, the index added 0.5%, helped by a 4.5%
leap in Mashreqbank
Qatar's index closed up 0.3%. Petrochemical firm
Industries Qatar increased 3.9%.
SAUDI ARABIA rose 1.2% to 6,684 points
ABU DHABI gained 0.3% to 4,134 points
DUBAI added 0.5% to 1,892 points
QATAR was up 0.3% to 8,892 points
EGYPT was up 2.8% to 10,588 points
BAHRAIN lost 1.1% to 1,239 points
OMAN slipped 0.4% to 3,451 points
KUWAIT was down 0.1% at 5,117 points
($1 = 3.7560 riyals)
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Alex
* All Saudi Arabian banks decline but one
* Aramco to announce Q1 earnings on Tuesday
* UAE has no plans to follow Saudi in VAT increase
By Ateeq Shariff
May 11 Saudi Arabia's stock market ended lower
on Monday after the kingdom said it will triple value-added tax
(VAT) and suspend a cost of living allowance for state workers
as it seeks to shore up its finances.
The austerity measures are being introduced as the world's
largest oil exporter suffers from slumping oil prices, while at
the same time measures to fight the new coronavirus outbreak are
likely to curb the pace and scale of economic reforms launched
by Crown Price Mohammed bin Salman.
Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said the cost of living
allowance would be suspended from June 1, and VAT would be
increased to 15% from 5% from July 1.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index dropped 1.2%, with Al
Rajhi Bank falling 1.5% and National Commercial Bank
, the country's largest lender, losing 2.4%.
State-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco was also down
0.8% ahead of its first-quarter earnings announcement on
In Dubai, the index fell 1%, driven by losses in
financial shares. Sharia compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank
ended down 2.3%, while Emirates NBD Bank
The Abu Dhabi index closed flat. Aquaculture firm
International Holding jumped 9.2%, whereas Abu Dhabi
Commercial Bank declined 2%.
The lender reported an 84% fall in first-quarter net profit
last week as it took $292 million in impairments on debt
exposure to troubled hospital operator NMC Health and payments
Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates was not currently
planning to follow Saudi Arabia by raising its VAT rate from 5%,
the finance ministry said on Monday.
Qatar's index fell 0.5%, hurt by a 7% slide in United
Egypt's blue-chip index added 0.4%, with tobacco
monopoly Eastern Company climbing 6.3%.
SAUDI ARABIA dropped 1.2% to 6,604 points
ABU DHABI was flat at 4,121 points
DUBAI declined 1% to 1,884 points
QATAR eased 0.5% to 8,864 points
EGYPT rose 0.4% to 10,296 points
BAHRAIN lost 1.3% to 1,252 points
OMAN slipped 0.1% to 3,466 points
KUWAIT was down 1% at 5,120 points
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten
* Nine of 11 Saudi banks decline
* Thob Al Aseel gains on contract
* Air Arabia cuts 57 jobs
By Ateeq Shariff
May 6 Major stock markets in the Gulf ended
lower on Wednesday as doubts about the easing of coronavirus
lockdowns and simmering U.S.-China tensions cast a shadow over
global equity markets.
U.S. President Donald Trump has kept up the pressure on
China, urging the country to be transparent about the origins of
the coronavirus, which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan late
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index dropped 0.8%, with
National Commercial Bank, the country's largest lender,
falling 2% and Al Rajhi Bank down 0.7%.
Moody's on Tuesday affirmed ratings of all Saudi Banks, but
changed outlooks to negative.
Clothing manufacturer Thob Al Aseel gained 3.3%
after signing a 97.5 million riyals ($25.97 million) contract
for medical supplies.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports in May are
expected to drop to about 6 million barrels per day, the lowest
in almost a decade, and domestic refining output is likely to
fall as the coronavirus crisis hits demand, Reuters reported
citing industry sources and analysts.
Dubai's main share index retreated by 0.7%.
Blue-chip developer Emaar Properties declined 2.3%,
while budget airliner Air Arabia slid 3.7%.
Air Arabia, the only listed carrier in the United Arab
Emirates, has laid off 57 employees due to travel disruptions
caused by the coronavirus outbreak, a spokesman said on Tuesday.
The Abu Dhabi index fell 2%, dragged down by a 2.8%
drop in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank
and a 2.4% fall in telecoms group Etisalat
In Qatar, the index slipped 0.5%, hurt by a 1.9% fall
in Qatar Islamic Bank.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index bucked
the trend to close 1% up. Commercial International Bank
was up 1.5%.
SAUDI ARABIA fell 0.8% to 6,655 points
ABU DHABI down 2% to 4,022 points
DUBAI lost 0.7% to 1,919 points
QATAR eased 0.5% to 8,759 points
EGYPT rose 1% to 10,294 points
BAHRAIN dropped 0.8% to 1,288 points
OMAN slipped 0.6% to 3,473 points
KUWAIT was up 0.3% at 5,289 points
($1 = 3.7545 riyals)
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane
By Ateeq Shariff
May 3 Saudi Arabia's stock market fell sharply
on Sunday, snapping three sessions of gains as the prospect of
more stringent measures to cope with the coronavirus and Moody's
downgrading of the kingdom's outlook soured investor sentiment.
The kingdom's finance minister on Saturday said the country
will take strict and painful measures to deal with the economic
impact of the coronavirus pandemic and "all options for dealing
with the crisis are open."
One measure would be to slow down government projects,
including mega-projects, to reduce spending, he said.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index plunged 5.7%, its
biggest intraday fall since March 09, weighed down by an 8% drop
in Al Rajhi Bank and a 5.2% fall in oil giant Saudi
Moody's Investors Service cut Saudi Arabia's outlook to
"negative" from "stable" on Friday, citing higher fiscal risks
due to the crash in oil prices, and uncertainty about the
government's ability to offset revenue losses and stabilize its
debt in the medium term.
"Market is down given the unavoidable austerity measures,
depressed economy and fiscal pro-cyclical measures. This is the
time to concentrate on saving the domestic economy and that
requires massive fiscal support and cutting excess fat inside
and acquisitions outside," said John Sfakianakis, senior scholar
at the University of Cambridge.
"The domestic economy needs to take prescience at all costs
now as this is a never seen before crisis of multiple black
swans," he added.
In Dubai, the index closed 4% down, with Emaar
Properties sliding 4.8% after Moody's changed the
outlook for the developer to negative from stable.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump's revived threat of new
U.S. tariffs against China dampened risk appetite.
The Abu Dhabi index dropped 3%, as the largest lender
First Abu Dhabi Bank lost 3.3%.
Qatar's index slipped 0.9%, hurt by a 1.4% drop in
Qatar Islamic Bank.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index dropped
3.3%, with Commercial International Bank falling 2.3%.
** Bahrain was closed for a public holiday.
SAUDI ARABIA plunged 7.4% to 6,586 points
ABU DHABI declined 3% to 4,107 points
DUBAI sank 4% to 1,946 points
QATAR eased 0.9% to 8,688 points
EGYPT down 3.3% to 10,200 points
OMAN was flat at 3,538 points
KUWAIT was down 2% at 5,248 points
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Additional reporting
by Marwa Rashad;
Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)