Banks hurt Saudi markets; other Gulf little changed

Saudi Arabia’s stock market fell on Tuesday, hurt by losses in banking shares, before Saudi Aramco’s listing. Other major Gulf markets were little changed.

Oil giant Saudi Aramco is listing its shares on Wednesday on the Saudi exchange after completing the largest initial public offering on record.

In Saudi Arabia, the benchmark index slipped 0.3 percent. Saudi British Bank fell 2.3 percent and National Commercial Bank 0.7 percent.

Saudi Aramco has priced its IPO at 32 riyals ($8.53) per share, raising $25.6 billion, more than Alibaba’s $25 billion listing in 2014.

Lead managers said on Monday Saudi Aramco will exercise its 15 percent greenshoe option in whole or part during the first 30 days of its trading period. If the greenshoe option is exercised in full the state-controlled oil giant could raise $29.4 billion.

Qatar’s index was up 0.2 percent. Qatar Islamic Bank rose 0.9 percent and Qatar National Bank 0.4 percent.

Qatar is sending its prime minister to an annual summit of Gulf Cooperation Council leaders in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, a sign of a potential thaw in a two-and-a-half-year Gulf dispute.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and non-GCC member Egypt cut diplomatic and economic links with Qatar in June 2017, alleging Doha of supporting terrorism, a charge it denies.

In Abu Dhabi, the index edged up 0.2 percent, ending a three-day loosing streak. Telecoms company Etisalat gained 0.4 percent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank advanced 1.2 percent.

Dubai’s index traded flat as DAMAC Properties lost 3.4 percent, while Emirates NBD Bank rose 0.8 percent.

Source: Reuters