Banks lift Saudi index, most Gulf markets mixed

Saudi Arabia’s stock market inched up on Tuesday buoyed by the banking sector, while real estate shares propped up Dubai’s index and other regional Gulf markets were mixed.

Saudi Arabia’s bourse was up 0.4 percent after half an hour of trading, with Al Khaleej Training and Education jumping 5.7 percent after its third-quarter revenue rose.

Saudi Vitrified Clay Pipe rose 1.7 percent after reporting a 23 percent gain in profit for the same period.

Market heavyweights Al Rajhi Bank and Saudi Basic Industries Corp added 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

Foreigners sold a net 89.2 million riyals in the Saudi stock market in the week ended Nov. 1, a sharp drop from the previous two weeks when investor worries over the impact of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing prompted heavy selling.

The reduction suggested that despite recent volatility many fund managers are still expecting inflows into Saudi Arabia next year, when Riyadh’s market joins emerging market indexes.

The Dubai index rose 0.5 percent, aided by real estate and industrial stocks.

Property developer Emaar Malls was up 3.3 percent, while Arabtec, which has appointed U.S.-based Moelis & Co to assist with a debt restructuring, jumped 7.7 percent.

DXB Entertainments lost 2.8 percent after posting a drop in third-quarter revenue and Dubai Islamic Insurance slid 4.4 percent after appointing a consulting firm to advise on its solvency.

Qatar’s index was flat, after hitting its highest level in a year and a half on Monday after a government reshuffle.

Qatar Insurance rose 1.4 percent and Qatar First Bank gained 2.4 percent in early trade.

Qatar Islamic Bank was down 0.4 percent after brokerage EFG Hermes cut its rating on the stock to ‘sell’ from ‘neutral’.

Qatar named new heads to its giant state-run energy firm and sovereign wealth fund on Sunday while appointing the CEO of its largest bank as its new trade minister.

Qatar’s ruler also issued decrees outlining changes to the boards of state gas giant Qatar Petroleum and Qatar Investment Authority, the world’s ninth largest sovereign wealth fund with about $300 billion in assets.

In Abu Dhabi the index fell 0.2 percent. First Abu Dhabi Bank slipped 0.1 percent, while Ras Al Khaimah Cement dived 8.5 percent.

Source: Reuters

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