Saudi shares rise on corporate news, other Gulf also gain

Saudi Arabian markets rose in early trade on Sunday on the back of corporate news, as all major Gulf markets gained ground.

Supporting the region’s markets was the news that Qatar’s foreign minister had made an unannounced visit to Riyadh, two sources told Reuters.

The visit signals that a 2-1/2-year rift between U.S.-allied Gulf Arab states could soon subside, reviving trade activities between Gulf states.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar in June 2017, accusing Doha of backing terrorism. Qatar denies the charge and accuses its neighbours of seeking to curtail its sovereignty.

In Saudi Arabia, the benchmark index rose 0.4 percent with Al Rajhi Bank gaining 0.5 percent and Saudi Telecom rising 0.8 percent.

Insurer SABB Takaful advanced 2.6 percent after being awarded an insurance contract by Saudi British Bank, amounting to more than 1 percent of the insurer’s annual revenue.

Al Hokair Group gained 1.5 percent after its board on Thursday approved a reduction in accumulated losses to 1.1 percent of capital by using the entire statutory reserve of 71.7 million riyals ($19.12 million).

Ataa Educational rose 0.9 percent after the company signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with a unit of Kingdom Holding to acquire 92.1 percent stake in Kingdom Schools Ltd.

In Qatar, the index opened up 0.3 percent, ending a third straight session of losses as the Gulf’s largest lender Qatar National Bank gained 0.8 percent and Qatar Electricity And Water was up 1.6 percent.

The Kuwait index rose 1.2 percent with Kuwait Financial House advancing 2.6 percent and Boubyan Bank adding 1.2 percent.

The Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock markets are closed for three-day public holidays and will resume trading on December 4.

Source: Reuters