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Most Gulf bourses fall as financial shares drag; Saudi up

Ateeq Shariff/Dubai
Filed on August 26, 2020

Abu Dhabi returns to bond market, raises $5 billion.

Most major stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Wednesday, pressured by losses in financial shares, although the Saudi index bucked the trend to close higher.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index edged up 0.2 per cent, helped by a 2.2 per cent rise in Banque Saudi Fransi and a 4.1per cent jump in Sahara International Petrochemical Company.

Elsewhere, Saudi British Bank (SABB) reversed earlier losses to close up 1.6per cent.

SABB on Tuesday reported a net loss of 6.87 billion riyals ($1.83 billion) in the quarter ended June 30, compared with a loss of 196 million riyals a year earlier.

Dubai's main share index fell 0.7 per cent, with sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank losing 1.9 per cent and blue-chip developer Emaar Properties down 1.7 per cent.

In Abu Dhabi, the index dropped 0.6 per cent, dragged down by a 1.2 per cent fall in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and 3.7 per cent slide in Aldar Properties.

Abu Dhabi raised $5 billion through a three-tranche bond offering on Tuesday, the oil-rich Gulf emirate's third foray into the international debt markets this year to prop up its finances following a fall in crude prices.

In Qatar, the index eased 0.1 per cent, hurt by a 0.9 per cent fall in petrochemical firm Industries Qatar and a 0.5 per cent drop in Commercial Bank.

Masraf Al Rayan, however, gained 1per cent. The Islamic lender has tightened the price guidance for its five-year US dollar-denominated sukuk and received more than $3.1 billion in orders, a document showed on Wednesday.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index slipped 0.1per cent, with investment bank EFG Hermes losing 3 per cent and Talaat Mostafa Holding retreated 2.3 per cent. - Reuters


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