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Tuqa Khalid

Iran says will not tolerate 'maritime offences' in Gulf

05 Aug 2019

DUBAI Iran runs security in the Strait of Hormuz and will no longer tolerate "maritime offences" there, its foreign minister said on Monday, a day after it seized a second oil tanker near the strategic waterway that it accused of smuggling fuel. | Video

MIDEAST STOCKS-Tanker incident weighs on Saudi, profit taking hurts Kuwait

21 Jul 2019

* Tanker tensions in the Gulf weigh on sentiment * Banks drag down Saudi index * Profit taking hurts Kuwait's index * Dubai slips on property shares * Heavyweight FAB lifts Abu Dhabi By Tuqa Khalid DUBAI, July 21 Saudi Arabia's stock index declined on Sunday, as political concerns weighed on investors after Iran's seizure of a British-flagged tanker in the Gulf. Britain called Iran's action against the Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday a "hostile act". "Markets are following the negative global lead as geopolitical risks take centre stage following the UK tanker seizure," said Vrajesh Bhandari, senior portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital in Dubai. Saudi shares shed 0.8%, with financial stocks seeing heavy losses ahead of an expected interest rate cut this month by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Saudi British Bank (SABB) was down 2.2%, Arab National Bank was down 1.7%, National Commercial Bank was down 1.1%, and Saudi Investment Bank was down 0.6%. Other Gulf markets were mixed. In Kuwait, profit taking sent the index down 1.2%. "Kuwait is the best performing MENA market this year so far, up almost 20%, and so it is not surprising that some investors are taking profits," said Bhandari. "We believe the market would continue to be well supported (up to its)... inclusion in the MSCI EM Index in mid-2020." Ahli United Bank was down 2.5%, Kuwait Finance House was down 1.4%, and Kuwait International Bank was down 1.1%. In Dubai the index was 0.9% lower, dragged down by the real estate sector. Construction firm Arabtec lost 2.3%, DAMAC Properties 2%, and Emaar Development 1.6%. Dubai is in a real estate downturn that has seen prices fall by more than a quarter from a peak in mid-2014, hurting earnings of the emirate’s top developers and forcing construction and engineering firms to cut jobs and halt expansion plans. In Abu Dhabi, the index climbed 0.3%, lifted by heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank, which was up 1%. The lender, the largest in the UAE, last week rose 4% after posting a 5% increase in second-quarter net profit. FAB gave a boost to the sector, with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank gaining 0.8% and 0.6% respectively. Egypt's blue-chip index lost 0.7%, weighed down by real estate. Cairo Investment and Real Estate Development tumbled 4.2% and Orascom Development dropped 2.9%. SAUDI ARABIA The index dropped 0.8% to 8,958 points ABU DHABI The index gained 0.3% to 5,235 points DUBAI The index lost 0.9% to 2,739 points QATAR The index was flat at 10,501 points EGYPT The index was down 0.7% to 13,576 points BAHRAIN The index slid 0.2% to 1,534 points OMAN The index was up 0.6% to 3,771 points KUWAIT The index declined 1.2% to 6,664 points ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) (Reporting by Tuqa Khalid, editing by Davide Barbuscia and John Stonestreet)

Dubai's big spenders tighten purse strings

18 Jul 2019

DUBAI, July 18 Boasting the priciest designer stores, no expense was spared when Dubai built the swanky Gate Avenue mall, positioned to serve affluent bankers who always had money to burn.

Iran makes new nuclear threats that would reverse steps in pact

08 Jul 2019

GENEVA/DUBAI Iran threatened on Monday to restart deactivated centrifuges and ramp up enrichment of uranium to 20% purity in a move away from the 2015 nuclear deal, but the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards insisted the world knows Tehran is not pursuing nuclear arms. | Video

WRAPUP 3-Iran makes new nuclear threats that would reverse steps in pact

08 Jul 2019

* IAEA still studying whether Iran has breached uranium limit (Adds Zarif tweet)

RPT-WRAPUP 2-Iran makes new nuclear threats that would reverse steps in pact

08 Jul 2019

* IAEA still studying whether Iran has breached uranium limit

Iran ratchets up tensions with higher enrichment, draws warnings

08 Jul 2019

DUBAI Iran said on Sunday it will shortly boost its uranium enrichment above a cap set by a landmark 2015 nuclear deal, prompting a warning 'to be careful' from U.S. President Donald Trump, who has pressured Tehran to renegotiate the pact. | Video

MIDEAST STOCKS-Trade war truce lifts Gulf markets, Dubai leads gains

30 Jun 2019

* U.S.-China trade talks lifts market sentiment * ENBD soars 4.1% after acquisition approval * Telecom companies boost Saudi market * Abu Dhabi slightly down, exchange cuts commission fees By Tuqa Khalid DUBAI, June 30 Most major Gulf markets gained on Sunday, reacting to positive global market sentiment after the United States and China agreed to a trade war truce at the G20 meeting. The two powers agreed on Saturday to restart trade talks after U.S. President Donald Trump offered concessions including no new tariffs and an easing of restrictions on the Chinese tech company Huawei. Dubai's index rose 1.2%, lifted by the largest lender in the emirate, Emirates NBD, rising 4.1% after getting banking regulatory approval to acquire shares in Turkey's Denizbank from Russia's Sberbank. The real estate and construction sector was also up, with market heavyweight Emaar Properties gaining 1.1%, construction firm Arabtec up 1.3%, Emaar Development 0.8%, and Damac Properties 0.7%. Saudi Arabia's index inched up 0.3%, lifted by communication services stocks such as telecoms operator Zain Saudi Arabia, which rose 4.2%, and Etihad Etisalat Company, which rose 1.9%. The Abu Dhabi index shed 0.2%, dragged down by financials. The exchange announced on Sunday it was reducing its trading commission fees by between 50% and 90% as it seeks to reduce investor costs, increase liquidity and build confidence. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank was down 0.9% and First Abu Dhabi Bank, the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, slipped 0.7%. Qatar's index rose 0.1%, with Commercial Bank up 1.7% and Qatar National Bank up 1.0%. Kuwait's index was up 0.3%, continuing its gains days after MSCI said it would upgrade Kuwaiti equities to its main emerging markets index in 2020. The Egyptian stock exchange was closed for a holiday. SAUDI The index rose 0.3% to 8,822 points ARABIA ABU DHABI The index inched down 0.2% to 4,980 points DUBAI The index rose 1.2% to 2,659 points QATAR The index was up 0.1% at 10,456 points EGYPT The market was closed BAHRAIN The index was up 0.2% at 1,471 points OMAN The index fell 0.2% to 3,885 points KUWAIT The index rose 0.3% to 6,377 points (Reporting by Tuqa Khalid)

Expo 2020 Dubai to attract 11 mln foreign visitors-officials

27 May 2019

DUBAI Dubai could attract 11 million foreign visitors to the Expo 2020 world fair, organisers said in an interview, giving a significant boost to the emirate's tourism sector.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Abu Dhabi outperforms on financials and real estate, most Gulf markets rise

21 Apr 2019

By Tuqa Khalid DUBAI, April 21 Abu Dhabi stocks outperformed Gulf markets on Sunday on expectations that banks and real estate companies will benefit from new rules which would allow foreigners to own land and property in investment areas on a freehold basis. The Abu Dhabi index rose 1 percent, lifted by RAK Properties, up 2.7 percent, and Aldar Properties , up 2.1 percent. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank rose 1.8 percent and Union National Bank rose 2.3 percent. The rise in investor interest came ahead of a company filing that said Al Hilal Bank's owner, the Abu Dhabi Investment Council, appointed Alaa Eraiqat as the lender's chairman. Eraiqat is currently group chief executive of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), which is expected to merge with Al Hilal Bank and Union National Bank (UNB) in the first half of 2019. Eraiqat will serve as chairman at Al Hilal in addition to his current role at ADCB. First Abu Dhabi Bank continued a recent rally to add 1.4 percent. The top lender in Abu Dhabi rose nearly 9 percent last week after obtaining regulatory approval to increase its foreign ownership limit to 40 percent from 25 percent. Saudi Arabia's main index, the Tadawul All-Share benchmark , was up 0.5 percent, lifted by financials and telecommunications. Islamic lender Alinma and telecommunications firm Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) were up 5.3 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively, after reporting strong earnings for the first quarter. "Generally, the (Saudi) corporate results coming in today have been encouraging. Sentiment remains positive on foreign inflows as the next FTSE and MSCI inclusion nears," said Muhammad Faisal Potrik, head of research at Riyad Capital. Saudi shares joined the FTSE Emerging All Cap Index in March with a weighting of 2.9 percent. In May, Saudi shares will join the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. In Dubai, the index rose 0.2 percent on the back of a strong performance by real estate stocks such as Deyaar , Emaar Development and Emaar Malls which were up 3.7 percent, 2.1 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively. Qatar's stock market inched up 0.1 percent on financials, as Qatar First Bank rose 1.1 percent, Qatar Islamic Bank gained 0.3 percent and Qatar Insurance company added 1 percent. Egypt's blue-chip index was down 0.3 percent, with Alexandria Mineral Oils Co SAE shedding 3.6 percent and El Sewedy Electric slipping 2 percent. "Regional markets have been focusing on passive flows from MSCI and FTSE events in Saudi and Kuwait while ignoring other markets like Dubai, Oman and Bahrain due to lack of catalysts," said Sanat Sachar, equity research analyst at Dubai's Al Mal Capital. "We expect this theme to remain valid for the next couple of months and post that investors will start looking at other markets in search of better investment opportunities with cheaper valuations," Sachar added. SAUDI The index was up 0.5 pct at 9,240 points ARABIA ABU DHABI The index rose 1 pct to 5,346 points DUBAI The index was up 0.2 pct at 2,821 points QATAR The index was up 0.1 pct at 10,355 points EGYPT The index was down 0.3 pct at 14,839 points BAHRAIN The index was flat at 1,446 points OMAN The index was up 0.1 pct at 3,984 points KUWAIT The index was up 0.1 pct at 6,249 points (Reporting by Tuqa Khalid, editing by Hadeel Al Sayegh and Louise Heavens)

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