Financials lift Saudi markets up as Aramco extends gains

Saudi Arabia’s markets rose on Monday, extending gains from the previous session helped by banking shares, while most other major Gulf markets were also up.

Saudi’s benchmark index gained 0.6 percent, with Al Rajhi Bank gaining 1 percent and Saudi Aramco up 1.1 percent on its fourth day of trading.

Saudi state oil company Aramco is due to join the Tadawul index and global benchmarks such as MSCI and FTSE this week, which according to analysts should fuel further demand, particularly from passive investors who track such indexes.

Aramco raised $25.6 billion on December 5 through its IPO and plans to exercise a 15 percent greenshoe option in whole or part during the first 30 days of trading. If the option is exercised in full, the total raised from the IPO would amount to $29.4 billion.

Among other stocks, Saudi Arabia Fertilizers added 0.4 percent after its board proposed a 1.5 riyals per share dividend for the second half of 2019.

In Dubai, the index added 0.6 percent, extending gains for a fifth consecutive session. Dubai’s largest lender, Emirates NBD Bank, increased 2 percent and Dubai Islamic Bank was up 0.4 percent.

Amlak Finance soared 11.7 percent after the Sharia-compliant lender said on Sunday its action plan to handle accumulated losses.

The Qatari index opened up 0.2 percent, driven by a 1 percent gain in the Gulf’s largest lender, Qatar National Bank, and a 1.1 percent rise in Industries Qatar.

The Abu Dhabi index traded flat, with telecoms firm Etisalat easing 0.7 percent, while First Abu Dhabi Bank rose 0.3 percent.

On Monday, the United Arab Emirates’ largest lender said it expanded its network further in Saudi Arabia by opening a branch in Jeddah.

Source: Reuters