Saudi markets edge higher; UAE shares retreat

Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose on Thursday, extending gains for a fifth straight session, while markets in United Arab Emirates were subdued.

Saudi’s benchmark index rose 0.1 percent, with Saudi British Bank rising 1.3 percent, while Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) was up 0.6 percent.

Clariant, an affiliate of SABIC, is selling its masterbatches unit to U.S.-based PolyOne Corp for $1.6 billion, the Swiss speciality chemicals maker said on Thursday. It will pay shareholders about $1 billion from the proceeds.

Saudi Aramco’s shares fell a further 0.7 percent to 36.5 riyals ($9.73) a day after their inclusion in the MSCI emerging- markets index. The oil giant will also join the FTSE benchmark on Thursday.

Dubai’s index slipped 0.1 percent as Emaar Properties dropped 0.7 percent and Dubai Islamic Bank lost 0.2 percent.

Duabi Islamic Bank on Wednesday rose after saying it had received shareholder approval to acquire unlisted Dubai-based Noor Bank.

The acquisition will make the United Arab Emirates’ largest sharia-compliant bank one of the top Islamic banks in the world, with total assets worth 275 billion dirhams ($74.87 billion), up from 230 billion dirhams at the end of September.

The Abu Dhabi index eased 0.2 percent, with First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) declining 0.4 percent and telecoms firm Etisalat was down 0.2 percent.

Source: Reuters

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