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Maqsood Alam

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks gain as Aramco rebounds; other markets little changed

20 Jan 2020

* Saudi Aramco closes up at 34.6 riyals * National Medical Care gains on contract * 28 of 30 Egyptian blue-chips slide * First Abu Dhabi Bank lifts Abu Dhabi By Maqsood Alam Jan 20 Saudi stocks edged up on Monday, supported by gains in financial shares and a rebound by Saudi Aramco after three sessions of losses, while other Middle Eastern markets were little changed. Saudi Arabia's index gained 0.2% as Saudi Aramco reversed course to close up 0.7% at 34.6 riyals ($9.22), offsetting earlier losses. On Sunday, Al Rajhi Capital Research rated Aramco "neutral", in line with most other brokerages, and set a target price of 37.5 riyals per share. JP Morgan was the first major brokerage to initiate coverage of Saudi Aramco, rating it "overweight" and setting a price target of 37 riyals per share. It said it sees scope for an increase in the company's proposed $75 billion base dividend. Banque Saudi Fransi rose 1.8% and the chemicals company Saudi Basic Industries gained 0.8%. National Medical Care < 4005.SE> gained 1.7% after the government awarded a medical services contract worth 278.5 million riyals ($74.24 million). The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.8% as First Abu Dhabi Bank rose 1.2%. Aquaculture firm International Holding jumped 9.9%. In Egypt, the blue-chip index declined 1% as 28 of 30 stocks fell, including Commercial International Bank Egypt, which declined 1.8%, Talaat Mostafa Group Holding, which closed down 3.2%. Egyptians and Arab investors were net seller of stocks, according to exchange data. Dubai shares snapped a seven-session winning streak, closing down 0.4%. Emirates NBD fell 1.1% and Dubai Islamic Bank 0.5%. The Qatari index slipped 0.2%, also after seven sessions of gains, as Industries Qatar fell 0.9% and the Gulf's largest bank, Qatar National Bank, lost 0.5%. SAUDI ARABIA gained 0.2% to 8,470 points ABU DHABI rose 0.8% to 5,213 points DUBAI slipped 0.4% to 2,851 points QATAR was down 0.2% to 10,690 points EGYPT dropped 1% to 13,774 points BAHRAIN edged up 0.1% to 1,643 points OMAN inched up 0.1% to 4,076 points KUWAIT was down 0.2% to 7,124 points ($1 = 3.7515 riyals) (Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi index slips, weighed down by banks and Aramco

19 Jan 2020

* 9 of 11 Saudi banks slip * Aramco closes down to 34.4 riyals * Almarai drops on profit fall * Top lender supports Egypt By Maqsood Alam Jan 19 Saudi Arabian stocks closed lower on Sunday, pulled down by losses at banking and energy firms, while the indexes in Qatar and Dubai extended their gains to a straight seventh day. Saudi Arabia's index was down 0.1%. Saudi Aramco weighted the index most with a 0.7% fall, extending losses to a third day running. On Sunday, Al Rajhi Capital Research rated the Aramco stock "neutral" in line with most other brokerages and set a target price of 37.5 riyals ($10.00)per share. JPMorgan was the first major brokerage to initiate coverage of Saudi Aramco with an "overweight" rating, setting a price target of 37 riyals per share and saying it sees scope for an increase in the energy giant's proposed $75 billion base dividend. Saudi British Bank dropped 2%, while dairy firm Almarai closed down 0.9% as its profit for the fourth-quarter declined by 15.9% after increases in selling, administration and general costs. Among the gainers was United Electronics which jumped 5.1%, its biggest intra-day rise since May 15, 2019. The company's said its fourth-quarter profit rose 14.6%. The Qatari index closed up 0.1%, with Qatar National Bank gaining 0.3% and Qatar International Islamic Bank rising 0.8%. Dubai's index rose 1.2%, buoyed by a 2.2% increase in its largest bank Emirates NBD and a 1.4% gain at Emaar Properties. In Abu Dhabi, the index closed down 0.1%, snapping a six-session winning streak, with Emirates Telecommunications Group slipping 0.4% and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) dropping 0.6% On Thursday, ADCB said its Islamic lending unit Al Hilal Bank had agreed to sell its Islamic insurance business and operations. Outside the Gulf, the Egyptian blue-chip index rose 0.7%, supported by a 2.7% gain by Commercial International Bank Egypt. On Thursday, Egypt's central bank left its overnight interest rates unchanged, while keeping its deposit rate steady at 12.25% and its lending rate at 13.25%. SAUDI ARABIA slipped 0.1% to 8,449 points ABU DHABI was down 0.1% to 5,174 points DUBAI rose 1.2% to 2,863 points QATAR added 0.1% to 10,713 points EGYPT up 0.7% to 13,918 points BAHRAIN was up 0.1% to 1,642 points OMAN was up 0.3% to 4,074 points KUWAIT gained 0.7% to 7,141 points ($1 = 3.7517 riyals) (Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Pravin Char)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Middle Eastern stocks gain on financials, Kuwait leads

14 Jan 2020

* Nine of eleven Saudi Banks rise * Aramco closes up at 34.9 riyals * United Wire jumps on FY profit * Qatar National Bank profit up by 4% By Maqsood Alam Jan 14 Gulf stock markets closed higher on Tuesday with Kuwait leading the gains, bolstered by banking shares amid rising oil prices, while Egypt was supported by top lender Commercial International Bank. Oil prices rose snapping four straight days of declines as the United States and China prepared to sign a preliminary trade deal. Brent crude gained 43 cents, or 0.67%, at $64.63 per barrel by 1036 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 32 cents or 0.4% at $58.40 a barrel. Saudi Arabia's index was up 0.4%. Al Rajhi Bank gained 0.8%, while petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries added 0.5%. State-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco closed up 0.3% at 34.9 riyals, offsetting earlier losses during the day. Amongst others, United Wire Factories jumped 5.5% after it reported a surge in its annual profit. In Qatar, the index ended 0.7% up with Qatar Islamic bank climbing 2.9% and Industries Qatar adding 0.8%. Qatar National Bank was up 0.2%. After the market closed, the Gulf's largest lender reported a 4% rise in its annual profit to 14.4 billion riyals ($3.96 billion) beating analysts' forecasts. Kuwait's index, which traded after two sessions of a break following the death of Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said, closed up 1.9%. Lenders National Bank of Kuwait and Kuwait Finance House increased 2.2% and 1.6% respectively. In Abu Dhabi, the index rose 1.1% with First Abu Dhabi Bank advancing 1.4% and Aldar Properties leaping 3.7%. Dubai’s index was up 1% led by a 2.7% gain in the blue-chip developer Emaar Properties. Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index was up 0.4% as market heavyweight Commercial International Bank Egypt added 0.6%, while Orascom Construction gained 0.7% after saying that it added $770 million to its backlog during the fourth quarter. SAUDI ARABIA was up 0.4% to 8,475 points ABU DHABI rose 1.1 % to 5,169 points DUBAI added 1% to 2,803 points QATAR gained 0.6% to 10,637 points EGYPT was up 0.4% to 13,757points KUWAIT increased 1.9 to 7,062 points BAHRAIN rose 1.2% to 1,620 points ($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals) (Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf shares rise as focus shifts to corporate earnings

13 Jan 2020

* Nine of eleven Saudi Arabian banks rise * Saudi Aramco closes at 34.8 riyals * Qatar National Bank gains ahead of FY results * Pioneers Holding sees biggest fall since Sept. By Maqsood Alam Jan 13 Gulf stocks traded higher on Monday, extending their rally to a third day, supported by easing U.S.-Iran tensions and ahead of corporate earnings. The stock markets across the Gulf had fallen sharply on Jan. 8 after Iran retaliated against the U.S. drone strike that killed an Iranian commander. Saudi Arabia's index rose 0.8% as Arab National Bank jumped 4.9% and Banque Saudi Fransi advanced 2.7%. However, oil giant Saudi Aramco slipped 0.1% to 34.8 riyals ($9.28). Aramco shares have been volatile amid U.S.-Iran tensions and fell to 34 riyals on Jan. 8, its lowest since trading began on Dec. 11. "GCC corporate profits are expected to increase by around 6.5% this year with profits in Saudi Arabia forecast to be up 7.1%," said Tarek Fadlallah of Nomura Asset Management Middle East, citing a Marmore Research note. In Qatar, the main index ended 0.6% higher as the Gulf's largest lender, Qatar National Bank, increased 1.4% ahead of its earnings announcement on Tuesday. Qatar Insurance added 1.7% following the appointment of Salem Khalaf Al Mannai as its chief executive officer. Dubai's index gained 0.8% as Emirates NBD and Dubai Islamic Bank increased 1.9% and 1.1% respectively. Abu Dhabi's index was up 0.6%, with First Abu Dhabi Bank gaining 0.7% and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank rising 1.3%. But, Egypt's blue-chip index slipped 0.8% after three straight days of gains, with market heavyweight Commercial International Bank Egypt shedding 1.2%. Pioneers Holding dropped 7.3%, its biggest intraday fall since Sept.22. The financial services provider said its board had approved a share-swap ratio set by a financial adviser for increasing stake in five subsidiaries to 90%. Egyptian exchange data showed that foreign investors were net sellers. Stock markets in Kuwait and Oman are closed following the death of Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said and will resume trading on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. SAUDI ARABIA rose 0.8% to 8,441 points ABU DHABI was up 0.6 % to 5,114 points DUBAI gained 0.8 % to 2,776 points QATAR added 0.6% to 10,568 points EGYPT fell 0.8% to 13,698 points BAHRAIN edged up 0.1 % to 1,602 points ($1 = 3.7514 riyals) (Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets gain after no escalation in U.S.-Iran tensions

12 Jan 2020

* Advanced Petrochemical FY profit rises * Aramco closes down at 34.8 riyals * Amanat Holdings gains on acquisition plan * Financials strong in Qatar By Maqsood Alam Jan 12 Middle East stocks closed higher on Sunday amid relief at no further escalation in tensions between Iran and the United States, but shares of Saudi Aramco retreated. Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump backed away from days of angry rhetoric against Iran as the two countries tried to defuse a crisis over the U.S. killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani. Saudi Arabia's index rose 0.3%, led by a 5.6% jump in telecom operator Etihad Etisalat . Advanced Petrochemical added 2.2% after reporting a 5.9% increase in its estimated annual profit to 759 million riyals ($202 million). Gains, however, were capped by losses in financial and energy shares. Samba Financial Group dropped 2.8%, while Saudi Aramco fell 0.6% to 34.8 riyals. Aramco has seen selling over the past week as it was affected by the U.S.-tensions and as investors are scrutinising the company's prospects more closely now that the euphoria surrounding its IPO is fading. On Sunday, the oil giant said it had exercised its "greenshoe option" to sell an additional 450 million shares, raising the size of its initial public offering (IPO) to $29.4 billion. Aramco initially raised a then-record $25.6 billion in its IPO in December by selling 3 billion shares at 32 riyals. In Qatar, Doha Bank and United Development rose by 6.2% and 3.3% respectively, pushing the index up by 0.6%. Dubai's index edged up 0.1% as its biggest lender Emirates NBD increased 1.2%, while Amanat Holdings closed up 1.7% after saying it was assessing a possible acquisition of a stake in the Middle East operations of VPS Healthcare Group. Abu Dhabi's index was up 0.2%, with market heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank gaining 0.3%. Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index gained 0.5% with Commercial International Bank Egypt adding 0.4%. Stock markets in Kuwait and Oman were closed following the death of Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said and will resume trading on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. SAUDI ARABIA was up 0.3% to 8,371 points ABU DHABI edged up 0.2 % to 5,084 points DUBAI gained 0.1 % to 2,752 points QATAR rose 0.6% to 10,509 points EGYPT was up 0.5% to 13,803 points BAHRAIN inched up 0.2 % to 1,600 points ($1 = 3.7514 riyals) (Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fenton)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt rises on foreign capital flows as most of Gulf gains

04 Dec 2019

* 27 of 30 Egyptian blue chips rise * El Sewedy Electric gains on solar project win * Telco Etisalat lifts Abu Dhabi * ENBD supports Duabi * Banks weak in Saudi Arabia By Maqsood Alam Dec 4 Egyptian blue chips rose on Thursday, with foreign investors net buyers and local investors net sellers. Most Gulf equity markets also gained as oil prices rose. Oil prices boosted markets, gaining nearly 2% on expectations that OPEC and its allies would extend output cuts when they met in Vienna later this week. In addition industry data showed the U.S. crude stockpile fell more than forecast. Egyptian blue-chip index snapped a three-session losing streak and closed 1.2% up with Talaat Mostafa Group Holding rising 3.5%. El Sewedy Electric added 1.4% after the government of South Sudan awarded a contract worth about $45 million to build a hybrid solar project. Qatar's index rose 0.8%. Qatar Islamic Bank gained 1.2% and Industries Qatar 1.1%. Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock markets rose in their first trading after three days of public holidays. The Dubai index was up 0.6%, led by a 2.6% rise in Emirates NBD Bank. The bank had fallen on Thursday after cutting 400 to 500 jobs since October, Reuters reported, citing sources, as banks in the United Arab Emirates reduced costs amid slower economic growth. Abu Dhabi's index was up 0.3% as Emirates Telecommunications Group gained 1.1%. However, the Saudi index slipped 0.2% as investors appeared to have directed their money into oil giant Saudi Aramco's initial public offering. Saudi institutions have oversubscribed by almost three times the shares allocated to them as part of Aramco's IPO, submitting orders worth 189.04 billion riyals ($50.4 billion) as of Tuesday. Institutional subscription to Aramco's IPO concludes on Wednesday. SAUDI ARABIA fell 0.2% to 7,871 points ABU DHABI gained 0.3% to 5,048 points DUBAI rose 0.6 % to 2,696 points QATAR was up 0.8% to 10,272 points EGYPT rose 1.2% to 13,636 points BAHRAIN gained 0.2 % to 1,544 points OMAN Slipped 0.4% to 4,040 points KUWAIT was up 0.3% to 6,644 points (Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises on strong private sector data, Egypt extends losses

03 Dec 2019

* All Saudi banks gain * SADAFCO rises on higher H1 dividend * Lender COMI weighs on Egypt By Maqsood Alam Dec 3 Saudi Arabia's stock market rose on Tuesday on the back of rising oil prices and robust non-oil private sector data, while Egypt fell as the same sector there dropped to a more than two-year low in the last month. Oil prices edged higher on expectations of deeper output cuts when OPEC and its allies meet this week. Brent futures rose 43 cents to $61.35 a barrel by 0924 GMT. Saudi Arabia is pushing for the cut in oil supplies to deliver a positive surprise to the market before the listing of state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco, the sources said. Aramco plans to sell 1.5% of its shares in a deal that could raise up to $25.6 billion for which Institutional investors have already put in 144.1 billion riyals ($38.4 billion) worth of bids. Institutional investors still have until Wednesday to place orders. The kingdom's seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 58.3 in November, up from 57.8 in October and the highest in over four years. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. Saudi's index closed 0.6% up with Al Rajhi Bank increasing 1.1% and Riyad Bank adding 2.5%. Saudia Dairy And Foodstuff (SADAFCO) rose 2.5% after its board recommended a higher dividend for the first half. In Egypt, the blue-chip index was down 0.5% in its third session of consecutive losses with the market heavyweight Commercial International Bank Egypt shedding 0.5%. Activity in Egypt's non-oil private sector fell to a more than two-year low in November, a survey showed on Tuesday. Qatar's index traded flat as Qatar Islamic Bank slipped 1.7%, while Industries Qatar rose 1.2%. The Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock markets are closed for three days of public holidays and will resume trading on Wednesday. SAUDI ARABIA was up 0.6% to 7,883 points QATAR was flat at 10,186 points EGYPT was down 0.5% to 13,470 points BAHRAIN was up 0.2% to 1,541 points OMAN slipped 0.5% to 4,057 points KUWAIT was down 0.6% to 6,623 points (Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Giles Elgood)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf markets fall as Aramco IPO oversubscribed

02 Dec 2019

* Nine of 11 Saudi banks fall * Leejam Sports slips on lower third quarter dividend * 27 of 30 Egyptian blue-chips decline * KFH lifts Kuwait after AUB acquisition nod By Maqsood Alam Dec 2 Most Middle Eastern markets dropped on Monday as investors appeared to have offloaded their positions to invest back into Saudi Aramco's initial public offering (IPO) which was oversubscribed by more than twice the number of shares on offer. Institutional investors have already put in 144.1 billion riyals ($38.4 billion) worth of bids for Aramco's planned IPO, which is more than double the capital it seeks to raise from institutions, financial advisers for the IPO said on Monday. Institutional investors still have until Dec. 4 to place orders. OPEC and its allies plan to deepen oil cuts and have the deal in place so it runs at least until June 2020 as Saudi Arabia wants to deliver a positive surprise to the market before the listing of Saudi Aramco, two sources familiar with the talks said. Saudi Arabia's benchmark index closed down 0.9% with Al Rajhi Bank slipping 1% and Saudi Basic Industries shedding 1.9%. Leejam Sports Company lost 1.1% after the gym network operator proposed a lower dividend for the third quarter compared with the same period last year. Egypt's blue-chip index dropped 1.7% as most of its members traded lower. Commercial International Bank Egypt fell 1% and El Sewedy Electric declined 4.7%. Local and Arab foreign investors were net sellers of Egyptian shares, according to the stock exchange data. The Qatar's index slipped back 0.1% after snapping a three-day losing streak in the previous session. Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding shed 1.9% and Industries Qatar was down 0.5%. However, Kuwait's index closed up 0.4%, buoyed by gains in banking shares. National Bank of Kuwait edged up 0.1%. Kuwait Finance House added a further 0.8% to previous session's gain following Bahrain central bank's approval for acquisition of Ahli United Bank. Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock markets are closed for three-day public holiday and will resume trading on Dec. 4. SAUDI ARABIA was down 0.9% to 7,833 points QATAR slipped 0.1% to 10,182 points EGYPT fell 1.7% to 13,538 points BAHRAIN was up 0.3% to 1,538 points OMAN was flat at 4,075 points KUWAIT was up 0.4% to 6,662 points (Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

CORRECTED-MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets advance on hopes of reduced Gulf tensions

01 Dec 2019

(Corrects day in second paragraph to Thursday from Saturday) * Qatar ends three-day losing streak * Ataa Educational boosted by potential Kingdom Schools deal * Egypt's Qalaa Holding drops on Pharos downgrade By Maqsood Alam Dec 1 All major Gulf stock markets closed higher on Sunday on hopes that a reported visit by Qatar's foreign minister to Riyadh would ease a rift between Gulf states. Qatar's foreign minister made an unannounced visit to Saudi Arabia, sources told Reuters on Thursday. Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt had cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar in June 2017, accusing Doha of backing terrorism. Qatar denies the charge. OPEC and allied oil producers, meanwhile, will consider further oil supply cuts when their leaders meet in Vienaa this week, Iraq's oil minister said on Sunday, in a move expected to support oil prices. In Saudi Arabia, the benchmark index was up 0.6%, with Al Rajhi Bank advancing 1.6% and Saudi Basic Industries up 0.9%. Ataa Educational added 2.2% after a non-binding memorandum of understanding to acquire 92.1% stake in Kingdom Schools. The Qatar index firmed by 0.4% to end a three-day losing streak. Qatar National Bank, the Gulf's largest lender, gained 1% and Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding added 1.5%. The Kuwaiti index closed 1.8% up, outperforming its Gulf peers, as Kuwait Financial House (KFH) and Boubyan Bank added 4% and 2.1% respectively. The Bahrain central bank approved KFH's acquisition of Ahli United Bank , while Boubyan confirmed it is in advanced talks to buy all remaining shares in BLME Holding. Egypt's blue-chip index fell 0.5%, with Qalaa Holdings shedding 4.3% after brokerage Pharos Research on Thursday cut its valuation of the investment company to 2.70 Egyption pounds per share from 3.29 pounds. Orascom Investment Holding slipped 2.4% as its third-quarter net profit declined to 62.6 million Egyptian pounds ($3.90 million) from 1.22 billion pounds a year earlier. The Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock markets are closed for three-day public holidays and will resume trading on Dec. 4. SAUDI ARABIA was up 0.6% to 7,902 points QATAR gained 0.4% to 10,192 points EGYPT fell 0.5% to 13,781 points BAHRAIN rose 0.4% to 1,533 points OMAN was up 0.3% to 4,074 points KUWAIT rose 1.8% to 6,633 points ($1 = 16.0600 Egyptian pounds) (Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru Editing by David Goodman)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Financials lift UAE indexes, poor earnings weigh on Egypt

14 Nov 2019

* Emirates NBD lifts Dubai * Lender FAB supports Abu Dhabi * Telecom Egypt drops on lower Q3 Profit * Seven of 11 Saudi banks slip By Maqsood Alam Nov 14 Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates rose on Thursday, lifted by banking shares, while a host of disappointing corporate earnings weighed on Egypt's bourse. Egypt's blue-chip index was down 0.4% with foreigners net sellers, according to Egyptian stock exchange data. Telecom Egypt fell 1.4% as a drop in third-quarter profit weighed on the stock. Alexandria Mineral Oils fell 4.9%, down for a fourth consecutive session. On Wednesday, the oil company reported an 87% plunge in first-quarter profit Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals Company and Madinet Nasr For Housing And Development lost 4.5% and 2.2% respectively after reporting lower nine-month profit earlier this week. Dubai’s index closed 1.9% higher with its largest lender Emirates NBD surging 5.9% after it sold shares in Network International Holdings for 160 million pounds ($204.74 million). Dubai Islamic Bank added 1.5%. The Abu Dhabi index advanced 1.3% with First Abu Dhabi Bank rising 2.9% and telecoms operator Etisalat gaining 0.4%. Qatar's index was up 0.8% with the Gulf's largest lender Qatar National Bank and Qatar Fuel both increasing 1.9%. Saudi Arabia's index edged down 0.1% with seven of its 11 banks falling. Banque Saudi Fransi lost 2.7%, while Saudi British Bank dropped 2.1%. Taiba Investments slipped 1.9% as it traded ex-dividend. SAUDI ARABIA The index edged down 0.1% to 7,924 points ABU DHABI The index rose 1.3% to 5,138 points DUBAI The index rose 1.9% to 2,701 points QATAR The index was up 0.8% to 10,363 points EGYPT The index fell 0.4% to 14,546 points BAHRAIN The index was down 0.4 to 1,505 points OMAN The index was up 0.4% to 4,084 points KUWAIT The index edged down 0.2 to 6,254 points (Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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