Saudi markets climb lifted by petrochemicals; UAE up on financials

Saudi Arabia’s stock market edged up on Wednesday, led by petrochemical shares, while gains in financials lifted Dubai and Abu Dhabi stocks.

In Saudi, the index edged up 0.1 percent, with Saudi Basic Industries gaining 1.6 percent and National Commercial Bank (NCB) adding 0.5 percent.

On Monday, NCB and Riyad Bank decided to end preliminary merger talks, the two said in separate stock exchange filings. Riyad Bank was up 0.9 percent.

However, Saudi Aramco’s shares were down 2.1 percent, at 37 riyals ($9.87), on the first day of their inclusion into the MSCI emerging markets index.

The Dubai’s index rose 0.8 percent as Emirates NBD and Emaar Properties rose 1.2 percent and 1.5 percent.

Elsewhere, Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) was up 0.2 percent after saying that it had received shareholder approval for the acquisition of unlisted Dubai-based Noor Bank.

With the acquisition, the United Arab Emirates’ largest sharia-compliant bank will become one of the largest Islamic banks in the world, with total assets worth 275 billion dirhams ($74.9 billion), up from 230 billion dirhams as of the end of September.

The Abu Dhabi index inched up 0.1 percent with First Abu Dhabi Bank adding 0.1 percent and Abu Dhabi COmmercial Bank gaining 0.5 percent.

Qatar was closed for a public holiday. ($1 = 3.7500 riyals)

Source: Reuters