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Ateeq Shariff

MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf markets sag on escalating U.S.-China trade war

06 Aug 2019

* Qatar's Mesaieed drops after poor H1 earnings * Nine of eleven Saudi banks decline * SABB decreased after posting Q2 losses * Bank of Sharjah falls the most in over a decade * Egypt Kuwait Holding surges on nod from authorities By Ateeq Shariff and Maqsood alam Aug 6 Major Middle Eastern stock markets fell on Tuesday, led lower by financial stocks and mirroring losses in global markets triggered by the U.S. calling China a currency manipulator in a rapid escalation of the trade war between the two countries. China's central bank said on Tuesday that Washington's decision to label Beijing as a currency manipulator would "severely damage international financial order and cause chaos in financial markets". Qatar’s index, which posted its biggest fall in two years on Monday when it plunged 4.2% and wiped out all this year's gains, slid a further 1.5% to hit a six-session losing streak as 16 of its 20 companies traded lower. Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding declined 5% and Barwa Real Estate dipped 4.4% after the duo reported disappointing first-half earnings. The Saudi Arabian index closed 0.8% lower, continuing its losing streak for a fifth straight session with most of its banking shares falling. National Commercial Bank lost 3%, while Saudi British Bank (SABB) dipped 3.4% after it swung to a second-quarter loss. The latter posted a net loss of 254 million riyals ($67.72 million) in the second quarter compared with a profit of 833 million riyals a year earlier. Buruj Cooperative Insurance Co plunged 6% after it recorded a more than 81% fall in second quarter net profit before zakat which it blamed on a decrease in its net underwriting surplus. Dubai's index edged down 0.1% with Emirates NBD shedding 0.9%, while Emaar Development decreased 3.1% after it reported a 24% drop in first-half net profit. Dubai prime residential property prices fell 1.9% in the first half of the year due to the market being oversupplied, Reuters reported on Monday, citing real estate company Savills . In Abu Dhabi, the index traded flat as losses in the financial and telecommunication sectors eclipsed gains in real estate stocks. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank shed 1.6% while Bank of Sharjah slumped 9.9% to post its biggest intra-day loss since January 2009. The lender on Sunday posted a 24% drop in first-half profit. Aldar Properties closed 4.1% higher ahead of a board meeting on Wednesday at which it will discuss the company's second-quarter financial performance. EFG Hermes forecasts a 7% rise in profit. Egypt's blue-chip index rose 0.4% with Egypt Kuwait Holding gaining 3.2%. The firm obtained a regulatory nod to allocate land to agricultural projects to procure raw materials for its planned compressed wood factory. Ezz Steel surged 6.3% after a subsidiary of the firm on Monday approved the acquisition of Ezz Rolling Mills and Ezz Flat Steel. SAUDI ARABIA The index dropped 0.8% to 8,394 points DUBAI The index lost 0.1% to 2,797 points QATAR The index fell 1.5% to 9,777 points ABU DHABI The index was flat at 5,081 points EGYPT The index rose 0.4% to 13,656 points KUWAIT The index was down 0.3% at 6,707 points OMAN The index gained 0.4% to 3,803 points BAHRAIN The index was flat at 1,545 points ($1 = 3.7508 riyals) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff and Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Positive earnings end Saudi losing streak, COMI weighs on Egypt

25 Jul 2019

* Saudi snaps five-day losing streak * SIPCHEM surges on Q2 forecast beat * Jabal Omar gains after posting Q2 profit * Al Rajhi Bank declines as trades ex-dividend * Emaar Properties continues to gain By Ateeq Shariff and Maqsood alam July 25 Strong corporate earnings helped Saudi Arabia's stock market snap five days of losses, while top lender Commercial International Bank weighed on the Egyptian bourse. In Saudi Arabia, the index bounced back 0.4%, with Saudi Arabian Mining Company jumping 6.5%, and Sahara International Petrochemical (SIPCHEM) climbing 5.2% after it reported flat quarterly profit of 210.9 million riyals ($56.2 million) beating EFG Hermes' forecast of 188 million. Jabal Omar Development was up 2.7% after it swung to second quarter profit, which it credited to higher revenue. However, Al Rajhi Bank declined 2.4% as the stock traded ex-dividend. In Egypt, the index dipped 0.8%, with Commercial International Bank (COMI) declining 1.1%. Exchange data on Thursday showed non-Arab foreigners were net sellers of Egyptian stocks. The market has been on the back foot in the last two sessions after a Reuters poll showed that Egypt's economic growth was expected to slow to 5.5% in the fiscal year that began this month, below the government's target. The Qatar index advanced 0.8%, driven by conglomerate Industries Qatar, which rose 2.5%, while Qatar National Bank, the Gulf's largest lender, was up 0.8%. Abu Dhabi's index added 0.6%, an eighth-day of gains on the back of its banking and telecom shares. First Abu Dhabi Bank rose 0.5%. The largest lender in the UAE has mostly traded higher after reporting last week a rise in second-quarter profit and proposing to remove a limit on foreign ownership of its shares. Emirates Telecommunications Group rose 0.6%. The telecoms operator on Tuesday posted a slightly higher second quarter profit. Dana Gas added a further 3.8% and Eshraq Investments, which is also considering doing away with a foreign ownership limit on its shares, climbed 3.3%, its third consecutive gain. In Dubai, the index snapped a three-days winning streak and closed down 0.2%, as financial and telecom sectors slipped. Emirates NBD shed 0.9%, while Emirates Integrated Telecommunications, where an 8.9% year-on-year decline in mobile subscribers for the second-quarter led to a drop in revenue, fell 1.8%. Dubai Islamic Bank shed 0.2%. On Wednesday, research firm Fitch said UAE Islamic banks' asset-quality metrics would remain under pressure, particularly for those with weaker, younger franchises, in 2019. But real estate stocks were up, with Emaar Properties continuing to benefit from signing a project agreement in China. The developer traded 0.4% higher in its fourth straight session of gains. SAUDI ARABIA The index rose 0.4% to 8,819 points ABU DHABI The index gained 0.6% to 5,388 points DUBAI The index slid 0.2% to 2,851 points QATAR The index added 0.8% to 10,631 points EGYPT The index fell 0.8% to 13,510 points BAHRAIN The index was up 0.5% to 1,523 points OMAN The index lost 0.3% to 3,755 points KUWAIT The index added 0.7% to 6,707 points ($1 = 3.7503 riyals) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff and Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Emaar lifts Dubai to eight-month high; weak earnings hurt Saudi

23 Jul 2019

* Dubai reaches its highest in 8 months * Emaar continues to gain on China deal * Aldar surges after raising annual outlook * Ten of eleven Saudi banks decline * Ma'aden plunges on negative earnings By Ateeq Shariff and Maqsood alam July 23 Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates outperformed the region on Tuesday thanks to their blue-chip developers, while disappointing corporate earnings and falling oil prices dragged Saudi shares lower. Oil slipped to around $63 a barrel on Tuesday as concerns faded for now that rising tensions in the Middle East would escalate and hit oil supplies, compounding the impact of a weaker demand outlook. The Dubai index closed up 2.1%, to reach its highest since mid-November 2018, with real estate shares leading the gains. Dubai's largest listed developer Emaar Properties jumped 4% and its unit Emaar Malls surged 4.6%. The realtor had jumped 2.5% on Monday when it struck a deal with Beijing Daxing International Airport over an $11 billion project that includes residential and leisure facilities. "The UAE-China partnership seems to have fired up the real estate stocks," said Vrajesh Bhandari, senior portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital. Emirates NBD added 1.7%. Last week, the Emirate's biggest lender reported an 80% rise in second-quarter net profit boosted by the sale of a stake in Network International and strong non-interest income on foreign exchange gains. In Abu Dhabi, the index was up 0.9%, continuing its wining streak for a sixth day. Aldar properties leapt 6% to its highest since January 2018, after the firm raised its annual profit guidance by 50% for the next three to four years. Emirates Telecommunications Group climbed 1.6% after reporting a slight rise in second-quarter profit, while National Bank Of Ras Al Khaimah traded 4.4% higher after the lender reported a 25.7% surge in profit for the same period. In Saudi Arabia, the main index Tadawul fell 1.3%, sliding for a fourth straight day, with the country's largest lender National Commercial Bank shedding 1.8% and heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries declining 1.5%. Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden) plunged 4.6% after it swung to a second-quarter loss, which it blamed on falling average realised prices of all products except gold. National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) dropped 4.8% after it reported a 75% fall in second-quarter profit. In Qatar, the index lost 0.3%, weighed down by a 0.8% fall in market heavyweight Industries Qatar and a 1.6% drop in Qatar Gas Transport. Egypt and Oman were closed for a public holiday. SAUDI ARABIA The index dropped 1.3% to 8,796 points ABU DHABI The index gained 0.9% to 5,345 points DUBAI The index was up 2.1% to 2,833 points QATAR The index lost 0.3% to 10,511 points BAHRAIN The index slid 0.3% to 1,522 points KUWAIT The index declined 0.3% to 6,640 points (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff and Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fenton)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks aid Qatar, Abu Dhabi; other Gulf markets mixed

17 Jul 2019

* Commercial Bank earnings boost Qatar * Emaar Properties drag down Dubai * Dubai Islamic Bank up on Q2 profit * Kuwaiti stocks optimistic on MSCI decision By Ateeq Shariff July 17 Middle East stock markets were mixed on Wednesday with Qatar and Abu Dhabi rising on financial stocks, while property stocks weighed on Dubai. Qatar's index edged up 0.1% with Commercial Bank rising 1.9% after the lender recorded a net profit of 934.1 million riyals ($256.62 million) in the first-half of 2019, versus 855.1 million riyals a year earlier. In Kuwait, the index for the premier market, home to the largest and most liquid companies, rose 0.2%. It has been boosted by MSCI's decision to move Kuwaiti equities to its main emerging-market index in 2020 and is up more than 28% this year, outperforming its Gulf peers. In Abu Dhabi, the market rebounded 0.1%, after shedding in early trading, on the back of its top gainer National Bank of Fujairah, which soared 10.9%, and Emirates Telecommunications, which was up 0.1%. Saudi Arabia's main index traded flat after rising for seven straight sessions following EFG Hermes forecast profit for the kingdom's financial sector would grow 7.6% in the second quarter. Saudi Telecom rose 0.9%, and Saudi Arabian Mining Company closed 1.9% higher. Egypt's blue-chip index fell 0.6% as most of its shares turned red, with the country's largest lender Commercial International Bank shedding 0.9%. Exchange data on Wednesday showed Egyptians and Arabs were net sellers of Egyptian stocks. The Dubai index fell 0.2% pressured by its largest listed developer, Emaar Properties, which was down 1.2%. However, Dubai Islamic bank added 0.2% after it posted a higher second quarter profit, while Emirates NBD traded flat. The Emirate's largest lender rose as much as 1.8% during the day after reporting a 80% surge in second-quarter profit mainly thanks to asset sales and foreign exchange gains. SAUDI ARABIA The index was flat at 9,076 points ABU DHABI The index edged up 0.1% to 5,081 points DUBAI The index lost 0.2% to 2,716 points QATAR The index was up 0.1% at 10,614 points EGYPT The index slid 0.6% to 13,642 points BAHRAIN The index added 0.2% to 1,539 points OMAN The index fell 0.3% to 3,748 points KUWAIT The index gained 0.2% to 6,769 points ($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Frances Kerry)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi extends gains, other markets ease ahead of earnings

15 Jul 2019

* Saudi gains for the sixth session * Most property stocks up in Dubai * Abu Dhabi ends 9-day winning streak By Ateeq Shariff July 15 Saudi Arabia's stock market rose for a sixth day with banks leading the rally on the back of a positive earnings outlook, while most other Gulf bourses fell back as investors await corporate results. In Saudi Arabia the Tadawul main index rose 0.3%, continuing its winning streak for the sixth straight session. Lately the index has risen on the back of banks after EFG Hermes forecast a higher second-quarter profit for Saudi lenders. National Commercial bank added 1.2%, while Riyad Bank gained 1.6% a day after it traded ex-dividend. The Dubai index was up 0.4% due to strong real estate stocks, with Emaar Properties rising 1.7%, and Dubai Investments jumping 3.1%. DXB Entertainment closed flat. The theme park company rose as much as 3.4% during the day after reporting a 5% growth in second-quarter visits compared to same period year ago. In Abu Dhabi, the index slipped 0.3%, snapping nine straight days of gains, driven down by the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank, which fell 0.3% and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, which dropped 1.2%. Kuwait's index declined 0.8%, its second day of loss following a surge in 11 straight sessions after MSCI's decision to move Kuwaiti equities to its main emerging-market index in 2020. The index is still up more than 27% year-to-date outperforming its Gulf peers. "GCC markets are being impacted by lower volumes in the summer to some extent. We see foreigners increasing their ownership in specific stocks," said Vrajesh Bhandari, senior portfolio manager, Al Mal Capital. "Investors are awaiting full set of second-quarter results to form a clear view of which way the economies are headed and which companies are adapting better to the changing market conditions". Qatar's index traded flat with Qatar National Bank gaining 0.5% and market heavyweight Industries Qatar was down 0.6%. Egypt's blue-chip index slid 0.3% with Commercial International Bank shedding 1.2% and Juhayna Food losing 2.7%. SAUDI ARABIA The index increased 0.3% to 9,044 points ABU DHABI The index lost 0.3% to 5,042 points DUBAI The index rose 0.4% to 2,716 points QATAR The index was flat at 10,596 points EGYPT The index dropped 0.3% to 13,628 points BAHRAIN The index fell 0.2% to 1,534 points OMAN The index declined 0.2% to 3,786 points KUWAIT The index decreased 0.8% at 6,724 points (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks boost Saudi, while wide sell-off weighs down Egypt

11 Jul 2019

* 10 of 11 Saudi banks climb * Riyad Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi rise ahead of going ex-dividend * Qatar's Nakilat, QNB up on Q2 earnings * Aldar Properties extends gains on contract * Kuwait rises for eleventh straight day By Ateeq Shariff July 11 The Saudi stock market rose on Thursday as nearly all its banks surged ahead of earnings announcements, while Egypt dropped sharply with most blue-chips declining. The Saudi index gained 0.7% with 10 of its 11 banks rising. Riyad Bank rose 1.6% and Banque Saudi Fransi added 0.6% before both go ex-dividend in the next trading session. Investors will be entitled to the next dividend pay-out as of Thursday. Saudi banks are expected to report strong second-quarter earnings. Investment bank EFG Hermes forecast 7.6% growth year-on-year in second-quarter profit for Saudi Arabia's financial sector. Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance surged 1.9% after it won a medical insurance contract worth over 5% of its revenue last year. Egypt's blue-chip index decreased 1.4% as most of its shares turned red, with Commercial International Bank shedding 1.6% and Ezz Steel slumping 7.7% after swinging to a first quarter loss earlier this week. Exchange data on Thursday showed non-Arab foreigners were net sellers of Egyptian stocks. In Qatar, the index reversed course to rise 0.6% with Qatar Insurance up 3.1%, while Qatar Gas Transport (Nakilat) rose 2.2% after posting 7% growth in first-half net profit. The Gulf's largest bank, Qatar National Bank (QNB) , edged up 0.2% after the lender reported a 4% increase in first-half net profit. The Abu Dhabi index increased 0.5%, with First Abu Dhabi Bank, the country's largest lender, ending 1.1% higher and Aldar Properties up 2%. On Wednesday, the property developer was awarded 5 billion dirhams ($1.36 billion) of development projects from the Abu Dhabi government. Kuwait's index closed 0.1% higher, as National Bank of Kuwait gained 1.1% and Mobile Telecommunications Co rose 1.9%. The index ended the session in positive territory for the eleventh straight session, triggered by MSCI's decision to move Kuwaiti equities to its main emerging-market index in 2020. Kuwait has outperformed its Gulf peers in anticipation of the MSCI move and is up more than 28% year-to-date. The Dubai index eased 0.1% after rising as much as 0.6% earlier in the day, hurt by a 2.5% fall in Emaar Malls and a 0.4% drop in Emaar Properties. SAUDI ARABIA The index increased 0.7% to 8,968 points ABU DHABI The index rose 0.5% to 5,052 points DUBAI The index shed 0.1% to 2,686 points QATAR The index added 0.6% to 10,613 points EGYPT The index dropped 1.4% to 13,814 points BAHRAIN The index lost 0.2% to 1,537 points OMAN The index declined 0.1% to 3,808 points KUWAIT The index was up 0.1% at 6,777 points ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Property firms bolster Dubai, oil prices lift Saudi

10 Jul 2019

* Emaar Properties highest since May * Aldaar Properties up on government projects * Nine of 11 Saudi banks gain * Qatar's QNB posts 4% rise in H1 profit * Kuwait surges for tenth day By Ateeq Shariff July 10 Dubai stocks rose sharply on Wednesday as all real estate shares gained, while banks drove the Saudi market higher amid rising oil prices and after EFG Hermes forecast higher second quarter profit for Saudi lenders. Oil prices rose more than 2% after industry data showed U.S. inventories fell more than expected and as major U.S. producers evacuated rigs in the Gulf of Mexico before a storm. The Dubai index closed 1.2% higher with Emaar Properties, its largest listed-developer, surging 3.5% to its highest in two months. Emaar Properties has been rising since Monday after its Egyptian subsidiary Emaar Misr Development initially agreed with El Nasr Housing and Development to settle a dispute on Uptown Cairo land. The Saudi index added 0.6% with Al Rajhi Bank rising 0.7% and National Commercial Bank increasing 1.4%. Investment bank EFG Hermes predicted 7.6% growth year-on-year in second quarter profit for the kingdom's financial sector. The kingdom's largest food products company Savola Group moved 0.8% up. On Tuesday, the firm said it had raised 1 billion riyals ($266.65 million) in Islamic bonds. In Qatar, the index increased 0.5% with Qatar National Bank adding 1.7%. The Gulf's largest lender posted a 4% increase in first-half net profit after the market closed. Kuwait's index was up 0.6%, continuing its winning streak for the 10th straight session triggered by an MSCI decision that it would move Kuwaiti equities to its main emerging market index in 2020. Kuwait has outperformed its Gulf peers in anticipation of the MSCI move, gaining over 28% year-to-date. The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.1%, led by a 1.2% rise in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, and a 2% increase in Aldar Properties. The latter was awarded 5 billion dirhams ($1.36 billion) of development projects from the Abu Dhabi government. Bank of Sharjah bounced back 5.5%, ending three straight sessions of losses set off after posting a steep fall in first-quarter profit. Egypt's blue-chip index declined 0.6% with Eastern Company dropping 2.3%, while Ezz Steel plunged 9.7% after earlier this week swinging into first quarter loss. SAUDI ARABIA The index increased 0.6% to 8,906 points ABU DHABI The index edged up 0.1% to 5,027 points DUBAI The index rose 1.2% to 2,687 points QATAR The index added 0.5% to 10,551 points EGYPT The index down 0.6% to 14,013 points BAHRAIN The index gained 0.1% to 1,540 points OMAN The index declined 0.3% to 3,813 points KUWAIT The index was up 0.6% at 6,767 points ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) ($1 = 3.7503 riyals) ($1 = 16.6125 Egyptian pounds) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks lead most Gulf markets higher, Kuwait keeps rallying

09 Jul 2019

* Gulf banks strong after EFG Hermes forecast * Saudi's United Electronics gains on strong Q2 earnings * Kuwait surges for ninth day * Egypt's COMI rises on higher Q2 profit * Bank of Sharjah slips further on weak Q1 results By Ateeq Shariff July 9 Major Gulf markets closed higher on Tuesday, mostly riding on banks after Egypt's EFG Hermes forecast a higher second-quarter profit for the Middle East's financial sector, while Kuwait continued to rise for a ninth straight session. EFG Hermes investment bank predicted over 10% year-on-year growth in second quarter profit for the region's financial sector, with United Arab Emirates seeing a 18.7% jump and Egypt expecting a 19.5% surge. The Saudi index added 0.3% with National Commercial Bank rising 1.3% and Riyad Bank 0.7% higher. United Electronics rose 1.7% after the firm posted a higher second-quarter profit and proposed a bigger first-half dividend. Kuwait's index rose 1.4% with National Bank of Kuwait and Boubyan Bank increasing 0.7% and 1.2% respectively. The duo posted higher second-quarter profits after market closed. The index has risen for the ninth straight session after MSCI said it would move Kuwaiti equities to its main emerging market index in 2020. Kuwait has outperformed its Gulf peers in anticipation of the MSCI move, gaining over 27% year-to-date. Middle Eastern funds plan to continue increasing investments in Kuwait over the next three months, a Reuters poll found earlier this week. In Qatar, the index increased 0.6% with Qatar Gas Transport gaining 2.7%, while lender Masraf Al Rayan was up 0.8%. Egypt's blue-chip index gained 0.4% with Commercial International Bank increasing 0.7% after the firm posted second-quarter profit of 2.71 billion Egyptian pounds ($164 million), up from 2.40 billion year ago. The Abu Dhabi index gained 0.2% with First Abu Dhabi Bank, the country's largest lender, closing 0.4% higher and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) up 1.1%. But Bank Of Sharjah plunged a further 5.2%, having closed 3.9% lower in the previous session after reporting a steep fall in its first-quarter profit. The Dubai index traded flat with Emaar Properties , its largest listed developer, adding 0.9%. SAUDI ARABIA The index increased 0.3% to 8,854 points ABU DHABI The index rose 0.2% to 5,022 points DUBAI The index was flat at 2,656 points QATAR The index added 0.6% to 10,500 points EGYPT The index up 0.4% to 14,097 points BAHRAIN The index gained 0.4% to 1,538 points OMAN The index traded flat at 3,824 points KUWAIT The index was up 1.4% at 6,726 points ($1 = 16.5500 Egyptian pounds) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf markets bounce back from early losses, Kuwait rallies

08 Jul 2019

* Riyad Bank gains on higher H1 dividend * Advanced Petrochemical slips on lower Q2 profit * Kuwait rises for the eight straight session * Bank of Sharjah drops on weak Q2 results * Six of seven banks slide in Qatar By Ateeq Shariff July 8 Most Gulf markets recovered from earlier losses on Monday to close higher, with Saudi lifted by financial shares and Kuwait rising for the eighth straight session following MSCI's decision to include the country in its main emerging markets index. The Saudi index gained 0.2% with Al Rajhi Bank rising 0.6% and Riyad Bank adding 1.7% after its board proposed a higher dividend for the first-half of the year. The market is up nearly 13% so far this year in a rally led by foreign investors. Total ownership of Saudi stocks by foreign investors increased to 7.47% by June 30, up from 4.67% at the end of December, stock exchange data shows, reflecting increased active and passive fund flows this year. Advanced Petrochemical fell 0.9% after it posted an over 24% decline in second-quarter profit, which it blamed on a drop in sales volume and product prices. Kuwait's index closed 0.2% higher. The index has surged since MSCI said it would move Kuwaiti equities to its main emerging market index in 2020, a move that could trigger billions of dollars of inflows. Kuwait has outperformed its Gulf peers in anticipation of the MSCI move, gaining nearly 26% year-to-date. Middle Eastern funds plan to continue increasing investments in Kuwait over the next three months, a Reuters poll found earlier this week. The Abu Dhabi index added 0.2% with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank gaining 1.3%. However, Bank Of Sharjah plunged 3.9% after reporting a 38% slump in first-quarter profit. The Dubai index increased 0.3% led by a 2.5% jump in its largest listed developer Emaar Properties. In Egypt, the index gained 0.2% as Egypt Kuwait Holding leapt 5.1% and Talat Mostafa Group Holding was up 1.6%. In Qatar, the index declined 0.7% with Qatar National Bank losing 1.5% and Commercial Bank was down 1.9%. SAUDI ARABIA The index increased 0.2% to 8,827 points ABU DHABI The index edged up 0.2% to 5011 points DUBAI The index rose 0.3% to 2,656 points QATAR The index dropped 0.7% to 10,443 points EGYPT The index up 0.2% to 14,043 points BAHRAIN The index down 0.3% to 1,533 points OMAN The index gained 0.2% to 3,823 points KUWAIT The index added 0.2% to 6,634 points (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt snaps winning streak, while MSCI upgrade keeps lifting Kuwait

04 Jul 2019

* Egypt ends four days of gains * Kuwait rises for a sixth day * Yansab slides after trading ex-dividend * Property shares strong in Abu Dhabi By Ateeq Shariff July 4 Egypt's blue-chip index snapped four straight days of gains on Thursday as most of its stocks dropped, while Kuwait rose for the sixth consecutive session after MSCI decided to upgrade Kuwaiti equities to its main emerging markets index. Egypt's blue-chip index slipped into negative territory after four days of gains. The index was down 0.9% with Egypt Kuwait Holding losing 4.2%. Egypt's current account deficit widened to $7.6 billion in the first nine months of the fiscal year from $5.47 billion a year earlier, while net foreign direct investments narrowed in the same period. The Saudi index slipped 0.1% led by a 0.4% fall in Saudi Basic Industries and a 0.7% drop in Riyad Bank . Yanbu National Petrochemicals dropped a further 1.3% after falling 2.7% the previous day when it traded ex-dividend. Qatar's index dipped 0.2%, putting an end to a five-day winning streak. Market heavyweight Industries Qatar lost 0.6% and Qatar Insurance decreased 1.4%. The index has been gaining in recent sessions as a 10-to-one stock split for companies on the exchange is being phased in from June 9 and will be completed by July 7. The move is designed to boost liquidity by encouraging smaller investors to buy shares. In Dubai, the index also slid 0.2 giving up early gains, with its largest lender Emirates NBD losing 0.4%. Kuwait's index added 0.6%. Last week, index compiler MSCI said it would move Kuwaiti equities to its main emerging markets index in 2020, a move that could trigger billions of dollars of inflows. Kuwait has outperformed its Gulf peers in anticipation of the MSCI move, gaining over 24% in the year-to-date. Middle Eastern funds plan to continue increasing investments in Kuwait over the next three months, a Reuters poll found earlier this week. The Abu Dhabi index rose 0.2% mainly helped by its property developer Aldar Properties which closed 2.6% higher. SAUDI ARABIA The index slid 0.1% to 8,847 points ABU DHABI The index edged up 0.2% to 4,999 points DUBAI The index lost 0.2% to 2,661 points QATAR The index was also down 0.2% at 10,566 points EGYPT The index declined 0.9% to 13,997 points BAHRAIN The index added 0.9% to 1,511 points OMAN The index fell 0.1% to 3,823 points KUWAIT The index increased 0.6% to 6,544 points ($1 = 3.7502 riyals) (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Edmund Blair)

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