Banks bolster Saudi shares; other major Gulf fall

Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose on Thursday, buoyed by banking shares and corporate earnings, while other major Gulf markets were subdued.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index was up 0.6 percent, with Al Rajhi Bank increasing 1 percent and Saudi Basic Industries adding 1.1 percent.

Middle East Healthcare jumped 8.2 percent after it posted a sharp rise in third-quarter net profit attributed to a decrease in general and administrative expenses.

National Medical Care advanced 2.6 percent, following a surge of more than 45 percent in third-quarter net profit.

In Qatar, the index slipped 0.2 percent, led by a fall of 0.9 percent in Qatar National Bank and a drop of 1.5 percent in Mesaieed Petrochemical.

The Dubai index edged down 0.1 percent, as Emirates NBD Bank dropped 1.8 percent and Emaar Malls was down 1 percent.

However, Dubai Financial Market gained 1.2 percent, as it reported third-quarter net profit of 30.4 million dirhams ($8.28 million), up from 20.9 million a year earlier.

In Abu Dhabi, the index also opened down 0.1 percent, with telecoms firm Etisalat shedding 0.4 percent, while Abu Dhabi National Energy Company plunged 5.8 percent.

On Wednesday, the energy firm posted third-quarter net loss of 16 million dirhams, versus a profit of 153 million a year ago.

Source: Reuters