Banks buoy Saudi stocks, real estate shares aid Dubai

Saudi Arabia’s stocks rose in early trade on Monday, buoyed by financial shares, while the Dubai index was driven up by gains in property shares.

The Saudi Arabian index was up 0.5 percent as Al Rajhi Bank gained 0.6 percent and Jabal Omar Development advanced 2.8 percent.

Walaa Cooperative Insurance jumped 4.9 percent to be the top gainer in the index. On Sunday, the insurer entered into a binding agreement to acquire all shares in Metlife AIG ANB in a share-swap deal.

However, Metlife slid 0.2 percent in early trade.

Moody’s said Saudi Arabia insurers’ weaker profitability and capitalisation pressures would spur more consolidation in the sector.

The Dubai index increased 0.4 percent to snap a four-day losing streak. Dubai Financial Market gained 2.1 percent, while Emaar Malls was up 1.6 percent.

Union Properties rose 1 percent after its chairman Nasser Bin Butti withdrew his resignation, continuing in his post until the end of his term in April 2020.

The Director General Of Dubai Economy said the government forecasts Dubai’s GDP to grow 2.1 percent in 2019, 3.8 percent in 2020 and 2.8 percent in 2021.

Qatar’s index inched up 0.1 percent, led by a 0.6 percent rise in market heavyweight Industries Qatar and a 0.9 percent gain in Qatar Fuel.

In Abu Dhabi, the index slipped 0.1 percent with First Abu Dhabi Bank, the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, falling 0.3 percent, and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company plunging 7.2 percent.

Source: Reuters