Middle East stocks see gains on Sunday
Middle East stocks closed higher on Sunday following Friday’s rise in global equities and a jump in oil prices, with Egyptian shares outperforming after the International Monetary Fund forecast better economic growth for the country.
Sentiment was supported by the UAE reopening all its land, sea and air entry points with Qatar on Saturday, while Qatar Airways and Saudi Airlines said they would resume flights between Doha and Riyadh as part of a deal to end a three-year-old regional dispute.
Global equities rallied on Friday as investors looked beyond US political unrest to further stimulus to mend the economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic, while Brent crude rose three per cent to $55.99 a barrel.
Dubai’s index closed up 1.9 per cent, with Dubai Islamic Bank and Emaar Properties adding three per cent and 3.1 per cent respectively. Shuaa Capital gained 3.1 per cent after a consortium it leads bought Dh1.13 billion ($308 million) of Dubai-based Stanford Marine Group (SMG) debt. The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.2 per cent as telecoms major Etisalat gained 0.4 per cent and Aldar Properties inched 0.6 per cent higher.
Egypt’s blue-chip index rose 2.4 per cent, with most of its constituents closing higher. Commercial International Bank - Egypt led with a 3.9 per cent rise, its sharpest intra-day gain since June last year.
The IMF raised its growth forecast for Egypt’s economy to 2.8 per cent from the 2 per cent it had estimated in June for the 2020/2021 financial year, which runs from July to June.
Saudi Arabia’s index was up 0.9 per cent, with Al Rajhi Bank and Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services gaining 0.7 per cent and 1.6 per cent, respectively. United Electronics ended up 5.6 per cent after jumping as much as 9.2 per cent during the day. The electronics retailer said its profit for the fourth quarter rose 41.2 per cent to 101.8 million riyals ($27.14 million).
Qatar’s index finished 0.4 per cent higher as the maritime and logistics firm Qatar Navigation (Milaha) jumped 5.4 per cent to 7.652 riyals, its highest close since March, 2017. Qatar Gas Transport advanced 2.2 per cent.
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